Food & Wine
Nando’s griller at international competition
Sibu was one of four winners of the intense National Grillers Challenge who were judged on preparation of the famously grilled and uniquely tasting Nando’s chicken. Winners were announced in August and they were flown to Kualar Lampur, Malaysia, for the International Challenge, featuring winners from countries around the world.
“It was the experience of a lifetime,” says Sibu, who has now been promoted to Junior Manager and transferred to Nando’s Groblersdal.
He said Kualar Lampur blew him away. It was also the first time he got to fly in an aeroplane. Tiring, but well worth it.
Sibu started off as a cleaner when he joined the company a few years ago and over that time was provided training and skills development as a griller – and now as a junior manager.
Speaking about the trip to Malaysia, Sibu said that they received a heartwarming welcome and got along easily with their peers from Nando’s all over the globe.
He loved interacting with a different culture and was impressed at their technology, but most importantly, he says, he felt a connection with the other grillers, and that is something he will never forget.
“We have so much in common and yet each of us have a different way of how we do our work. We shared these ideas and learnt a lot from each other,” he said. “When we told people we are from South Africa they responded with even more love for us. We also used to entertain them a lot through our song and dance,” said Sibu.
“We didn’t know everybody by name, but everyone knew us. It was just an amazing experience and as South Africans we definitely left our mark.”
Sibu said that competition days were tightly contested as every entrant was an individual with a unique set of skills at the very highest level.
“I tried my best and although I didn’t win, it has motivated me to keep working hard and dream big, because anything is possible”.
Sibu says he would like to see more individuals climb the ladder to success with a company like Nando’s.
“They’ve given me every opportunity to succeed and all I had to do was make sure the job gets done. It wasn’t difficult and now I’m reaping the rewards of that”.
• The National Grillers’ Challenge is an annual event which is one of the most engaging and inspiring internal events of Nando’s to motivate and appreciate the grillers, fondly called as ‘Nandocas’. It takes place in a different country every year.