Simba Marangwanda’s Sims Concept has recently joined the Cinta Food Market, a most enchanting cottage that showcases a handful of artisan cuisine. Hugged by Cape Malay and Thai food stands, Sims Concept caters to the Mexican food lovers – think perfectly built wraps, chili poppers, and home-made guacamole. We chat to the inspirational Simba, the friendly Rastafari from Zim who, throughout his entire life, has persisted in following his passion and talent. With a big smile and humble heart he shares with us what it’s like in the day of an artisan chef.
- Please take us through your typical working day.
|Time of Day||Activity||Comments|
|04:30h||Wake up and meditate||I also get some reading done|
|06:00h||Take a shower and have a cup of coffee|
|07:00h||Arrive at work||We open the doors at 07:30h|
|07:30h||Finish prepping for the day with help from my assistant||I also spend some time researching new ideas|
|08:00h||Start welcoming customers and make delicious Mexican food||Lots of foreigners, but also many locals who support our business|
|15:00h||Have some lunch, but the time varies from day to day||At Cinta we all help each other out – so we usually prepare meals for each other and then exchange lunch|
|16:30h||Finish up work at Sims Concept|
|17:00h||Head on over to the restaurant where I work the evening shifts|
|Around midnight||Get home and go to sleep||I only really rest on Sundays|
- How did Sims Concept start?
Sims Concept as I have it today has only been running for about a month, but I started my business back in 2012. I went through quite a few names, because I was trying to fit into the norm. At the end of the day, however, I reflected on what my father had said to me, and that’s when I started running my business with a name that suited me as an individual.
Sims Concept is about making good food and loving every minute of it.
- So, why Mexican food?
I really like the taste of Mexican food – I got to taste it at previous restaurants I worked at, and also have some Mexican friends that introduced me to more varieties of the cuisine.
Apart from the taste, I like the concept of how Mexican food is prepared. It doesn’t involve a lot of hassle and is quite easy to make and also allows room for flexibility. It’s something I kept in mind when I decided on what I wanted for my business model.
- Were you always interested in food and cooking?
Well, it actually all started when I was about 10 years old and cooked for my father for the first time. He was the first person to identify my gift for cooking and working with food. He told me,
“One day you’re going to open up your own food shop. You’ll be one of the great chefs and everyone will know you.”
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
The fact that I meet new and different people every day.
- What do you enjoy least?
In all honesty, I enjoy every part of it. Even cleaning up.
- Do you need to study and get a formal qualification for this career?
No, you don’t. You just need passion. Just remember that a formal institution is not the only place that will give you an education. You can do your own research. Get out there and do your homework.
- What advice do you have for someone wanting to be an artisan chef?
You have to really want this and enjoy it.
Get a good mentor.
I’m very thankful to one person in particular who has helped me be where I am today – Malcolm Royston, the owner of Cool Bananas. He’s the person I look up to.
His coaching and mentoring has had a great influence on making this whole thing come together. He is the person who gave me the mindset that I have today, namely that all things are possible. Although he comes from a similar background as me, not having had any financial backup, he’s made a success for himself. It really motivated me to enter the business arena myself. You just need to have the right commitment.
Have passion and desire in everything you do and believe in yourself.
- What is the starting salary in this career?
I prefer not to answer this, simply because money and specific figures tend to limit people. At the end of the day it’s really not about money. It’s about enjoying what you do.
The whole purpose of life is to be happy with what you do – if you get that right, everything else will fall into place. If you are positive and have the right attitude – spiritually, physically, emotionally – everything aligns itself to you.
10 years ago I didn’t think I’d be where I am today, but I kept speaking about it and I kept on working on it, despite not having anyone who could financially support me, and despite jumping from job to job. I always kept on nurturing my desire.
Having said this, you can definitely make a living from this career.
- Do you have any last words of wisdom you want to share?
Be true to yourself. Know what you want in life, and never let circumstances or your background limit you to where you want to be in life. Anything is possible.
- Here’s a look at Simba in his work space, always with a smile.
Anything is possible. Take it from someone who never stopped believing in himself.
Sometimes the school of life is all you need in order to make a success of yourself. Your past may be part of what has shaped you, but it doesn’t have to define who you become.