Onndwelani Manganye (17) from Itsani village is making a name for himself in the world of baking. Photo: Thembi Siaga.

Onndwelani believes the road to success starts with delicious treats


Seventeen-year-old Onndwelani Manganye from Itsani village is already making a name for himself as a skilled and creative baker. This ambitious young man is determined to pursue a career as a baker once he completes his matric. While his peers engage in other youthful pursuits after school, he dedicates his free time to perfecting his baking skills.

Onndwelani is a Grade 12 learner at Shayandima Secondary School. He discovered his innate passion for creating delightful confections at an early age. He believes that what sets him apart is not only his age but also his unwavering commitment to the craft.

In March of last year, Onndwelani started his own small business. His creations range from mouthwatering cakes and creative pastries to scrumptious scones. “I’m experimenting with new recipes and techniques all the time. I have earned some loyal customers because they know how important quality is to me,” he said.

His mother, Ms Nyaweleni Manganye, was the inspiration behind his love of baking as she used to bake and sell her foodstuffs at the school. “I attended baking classes with a local baker, Lindelani Munyai from Itsani, and that helped me a lot. My older sister, Lucia Manganye, gave me the money to start my business, which is now flourishing, and I am able to help my mother financially,” he said proudly.

Onndwelani aims to grow his business and attract more clients, like his role model, Vhutshilo Mabanda from Thohoyandou. “I am grateful that I have lots of clients, and many of them compliment me, despite the fact that sometimes I have to turn some away because I am still a Grade 12 learner and have to focus on my studies,” he said.


Date:15 October 2023

By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga started as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people. Currently he works as a freelance journalist, covering stories in the Elim area.

Thembi studied at the Tshwane University of Technology, where he completed his diploma in Journalism in 2021.

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