Thandeka Ngcabashe, 22, was born and raised in the Masakhane community of Gansbaai. Growing up in Gansbaai, she was no stranger to the Grootbos Foundation. Beginning at the young age of nine, she began playing football with the Football Foundation- a subsidiary of the Grootbos Foundation and participated in Football Foundation programmes until she was 15.
Today, Thandeka is applying her passion for nature at the Green Futures Horticulture and Life Skills College, where she is learning about landscaping and gardening. At a young age, her love of flowers and plants began to flourish with the influence of her father who was a traditional healer, using plants to cure illnesses. He planed herbs and other flora at their Masakhane home throughout her childhood.
Thandeka decided to apply for the Green Futures College after studying tourism and hospitality at school. Her interest in working with tourists is well suited for a position at the Green Futures Nursery due to the high traffic of foreign travelers that stay at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
When she first began at the college in January, she had plans of becoming a tour guide but after learning and working with plants on a daily basis, her dreams have changed and she hopes to one day work at a large nursery, possibly in Kirstenbosch. Thandeka explains, “When I first began studying at Green Futures, I wanted to become a field guide because many of the other students want to do this as well. But through my time here I have learnt that you mustn’t focus on other people’s goals and make them your own. It’s important to find something you love and are passionate about and set your own goals for the future”
She also enjoys singing in her church choir and cooking in her free time.