There are so many quotes that are used to describe how coffee makes us feel: American Author, Cassandra Clare said, “As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be? Life would be terrible without coffee.”
With the Cape Town Coffee Festival around the corner, we look back to Heavy Chef’s favourite barista Sikelela Dibela. His story is a special one. Siki used to be a lead trainer for Vida e Caffe in London, then decided to return to his home - a poverty-stricken township of over two million people outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
People are tired of waiting for things to happen. They want to create something for themselves.
Watch our Heavy Chef Raw interview with Siki:
Siki’s opened its doors in 2016, but it was a long time coming.
When Heavy Chef spoke to him, Siki explained: “I’ve been in coffee for 10 years. I started as a dishwasher when I was 18, worked my way up to junior barista, then head barista, then assistant manager and then store manager.’
That’s where Siki’s story suddenly became exciting.
“I worked with a local franchise in Cape Town,” says the self-effacing Khayelitsha resident, “and through work I got an opportunity to go to London and help set up a few stores there.
Siki left for the grey clouds of Europe. Despite being well-paid and provided for, Siki soon decided that it would was far more important that he returns home.
“There are a lot of entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha, People are tired of waiting for things to happen. They want to create something for themselves. They want to make their own opportunities.”
Siki wanted to be part of the entrepreneur revolution that is happening in his neighbourhood.
Things are looking promising for Siki’s, but he still has a lot planned. “I want to put Siki’s on the map. I want people from Cape Town, Khayelitsha and the rest of the world to know about it. I also do Barista training, and I would like to grow that as well so that I am assisting other young people to get jobs and improve their lives. Then, on top of that, I want to get my mobile coffee business going so that I can set myself up at events.”
“And hey, one day maybe I can roast my own beans here!”
Siki exclaims: “Damn son, you’re going to be busy.”
Siki will also be one of the baristas at the Cape Town Coffee Festival taking place on the 1st and 2nd of June 2019. Say hello to him when you see him - and tell Heavy Chef sent you!
This year’s Cape Town Festival will support small local businesses and includes over 65 innovative exhibitors.
The Small Business Lab is a lab zone dedicated to promoting and supporting small local businesses through a series of interactive talks and workshops.
Tickets for The Cape Town Coffee Festival are now on sale here, for all coffee connoisseurs and foodies alike, this event is bound to give African and global attendees a truly exciting break from the daily grind.