Innovation – ​Gobonaone Modisane

Chef, TV host
Gobonaone Modisane is the owner and managing director of Young Chefs Academy, an international franchise which teaches children cooking skills and baking techniques.

It is the first culinary academy in southern Africa that focuses primarily on child development.

This unique company has the mission to teach children the joy and value of cooking, and to provide an interactive learning experience that gives children the opportunity to develop a life- long love for the culinary arts.

Founded in 2009, Modisane’s academy provides parents with an affordable extracurricular option that teaches children the joy of cooking, as well as the value of a healthy lifestyle and self-reliance. They offer weekly classes, birthday parties, holiday camps and field trips to children aged 4 to 18 years.

Modisane graduated with a degree in Special Education from the University of Botswana in 2008.Majoring in both Special Education and Home Economics, she had a deep desire to work closely with children.

She specialized in hearing and visual impairments, and also took child development courses in Home Economics.

This developed her interest to use cooking as a tool to equip children (including those with special needs, the vulnerable, and orphans) with life skills.

Heracademy has grown rapidly, from its first five children in 2010, to the current enrolment of 75 learners. The programmehas touched the lives of over 1 000 children through its culinary teaching programs, equipping them with necessary cooking skills and helping them appreciate the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

They have also funded orphans, vulnerable children and special needs students to take part in this potentially life-changing journey.

Over 100 children have benefited from this sponsorship.

Botswana Television signed an agreement with the Young Chefs Academy last year to air 52 episodes (four seasons) of a show called Young Chefs @ Play,hosted by Modisane. This is giving the Academy countrywide exposure.

In 2015, Modisane won two WIBA Excellence Awards, ‘Young Female Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Innovator of the Year’.

The WIBA awards are an annual event ensuring that successful women-owned businesses are recognised, and women entrepreneurs are acknowledged for their contribution to the country’s economy.

Modisane is passionate about changing lives and bringing transformation in her community. She works with different organizations to empower youth and promote entrepreneurship.

She recently completed this year’s Mandela Washington Fellowship, President Obama’s prestigious flagship program for young African leaders.

Email: [email protected]

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