Tragic death in the Savoy Cabbage family

Lunga Maqwelane dies tragically on his way to work at Savoy Cabbage.

27 Jan 2014
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If you are on our Facebook page you will already know of the tragic death of one of our Savoy Family.

A week ago yesterday, Lunga Maqwelane was gunned down in Gugulethu as he left his child’s crèche, to come to work.

Lunga had four families: the one he was born into, his new one with his wife and babies, his church and fourthly, his Savoy Cabbage family.

We are not like a normal workplace. Our family members come from many parts of our continent: Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, DRC, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Its extended family of customers and ex staff have sent messages from all over South Africa and the world; America, England and Mauritius to name a few.

As news of his death reached us we mourned and gathered in shock. The internet spread the news on Facebook and hundreds of messages of support have been received from ex staff, customers and suppliers.

He joined us at the very start of his cooking career and was in his late teens. Of the group of potential chefs we interviewed from the Iziko Cooking School he was the one who made us sit up and take notice, he was the one with ambition and also the one who made us laugh, something we rate highly if you are to join our family.

He learned quickly and was soon productive in the kitchen. He had a talent with fish and meat and soon mastered the grill. Then he learnt to make elaborate terrines and spicy French sausages. If you ate with us on Christmas Eve the Duck Terrine was made by Lunga.

For staff dinner we were served his own recipe of Lunga fried chicken and we joked about him becoming bigger than KFC.

Lunga was only with us for 5 years. But he had friends all over the world. He would chat to customers and on our last night together we laughed as he issued the instructions as to where the toilets were, to passing customers.

In 2013 Lunga got married. He looked so handsome as he and his beautiful wife posed for photos in a park. Lunga’s second child, was born this Christmas and he was so proud of his new baby daughter and could not wait to get home to his family.

On his last night with us, as he worked in the kitchen, he caught my eye and winked when we shared a secret joke. As he hurried home to his family he looked so smart and in a way, it was the first time I realized how much he had grown up.

We will miss Lunga; his sense of fun and humour, his hard work and dedication to doing the job well and his love for his team, family and God. He was just 20 when he joined us. We have seen him grow into a man.

Writer Toni Maguire has written a very moving blog about this senseless here
We will be holding a fund raiser event for his young family at the end of March or the beginning of April. Perhaps an opera evening, for it was at Savoy Cabbage where he first heard opera.

We will be auctioning some special prizes and you can buy raffle tickets for other. If you would like to donate items or time please mail me.

In the meantime if any of you would like to contribute there is a Memorial Fund to help support his wife and two children.               
Account Name:     Lunga Memorial Fund
Bank:    Standard Bank
Branch:    Thibault Square
Branch Code:    051001
Account Number:    166 248 886
Swift Address:    SBZA ZA JJ

Some UK friends and customers have already deposited into my UK account. Just in box me for details. This will avoid excessive bank charges for international transfers. For those of you who have already made a deposit, thank you.

The whole team will attend the memorial service and funeral, because he was a special member of our family.

- from the Savoy Cabbage family.

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RIP Lunga May 1988- January 2014

Food24 supports this initiative to raise funds for Lunga's family and supporting them in this devastating time.

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