Fourth-year Medical student at UKZN’s Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, Miss Athingahangwi Ramabulana has established a student catering business, Athinga’s Corner.
‘I came to UKZN dreaming of becoming a doctor and the University enabled me to realise and fulfil my other dreams in catering and art. In 2018 I was a prelude poet for the 22nd Poetry Africa international poetry festival at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. I am inspired to be great – thank you UKZN,’ she said.
The student-owned kitchen provides healthy, nutritious home-cooked meals and offers free delivery to students from Monday to Saturday. Ramabulana’s dream was made possible by funding through UKZN InQubate which empowers student-founded businesses and thus creates jobs.
This kitchen serves students on all five campuses. Most UKZN residences are self-catering and some students struggle to prepare healthy meals. A survey conducted by Ramabulana in April 2020 found that some students did not know how to cook, while others were not enthusiastic about doing so and resorted to unhealthy eating habits.
The 21-year-old from Thohoyandou, Limpopo said she has always been passionate about cooking and healthy eating. Between 2018 and 2020 she cooked and sold food at her student residence. Studying and running her business was ‘quite tiring but because I was doing what I loved, I enjoyed it.’
Athinga’s Corner has now employed a cook and a delivery person who take care of the business while she is busy with her rotations at the hospital. This business is based at 150 Queen Elizabeth Avenue and can be followed on Instagram @athingascorner.
Words: Lihle Sosibo