Three Hilton College cricket teams travel to hosts St Charles College this (February 8th 2022 Tuesday) afternoon for a 3pm start, the matches in the T20 format.
Although the abbreviated nature is not ideal, today should go a way in making up somewhat for the disappointment of Saturday’s cancelled-due-to-the-weather, longer-format matches.
It is certainly a lot better than nothing at all. And given the time constraints and crowded schedules of schools these days it is great to see.
All 3 Hilton teams look to be strong units in their particular division or age-group category and, weather permitting this afternoon, should test the Saints to the full.
Hilton College 1st XI
Jake Carstens, Jarryd Pike, Charles Swart, Ivan Lockem, Ross Boast, Kristofer Watt (capt), Matthew Stewart, Nicholas Chantler, Matt Wilson, Olwethu Kweyama, Kieran Kilmartin
Hilton College 2nd XI
Luke Watt, Hylton Lötter, Jason Dix, Samuel Strydom, Matt Diemont, Matt Rout (capt), Wian Liebenberg, Thomas Roy, Brett Cutting, Christopher Roy, Matipa Denenga
Hilton College U16A
Christopher Wagner, Jarred Kitto (capt), Ivan JJuuko, Kyle Christie, Ethan van Heerden, Grant Bridgeford, James McGregor, Didier Rey, Kingsley Thompson, Murray Loughor-Clarke, Natenzi Denenga
The Hilton College first XI had a good workout in beating a Tuskers Academy XI by 72 runs in a T20 match on the Hart-Davis Oval at Hilton on Thursday afternoon, the Hiltonians compiling 143 for 6 in their 20 overs, to which Tuskers replied with 71 all out.
Saturday on the St Charles College Oval is what is a keenly anticipated fixture against the hosts school’s first XI but indications suggest the weather may be the main player in this one. More’s the pity as it looks to be a contest between two sides who have shown much promise to date.
Certain basketball fixtures could also be decimated by the prevailing wet weather although those taking place in the indoor arena are not affected.
The first team basketball clash is set for 1.30pm in that SK Arena at Saints.
The Hilton firsts basketball team for the match is:
Michael Fox, Kwame Huyberechts, Kediretswe Mbaakanyi, Chisha Mulenga, Saphiwa Nzimande, Qhawe Soji (vice-capt), Nic Thorburn, Roelf van der Merwe (capt), David Tshebi, Tiisano Tisane, Declan Sawyer and Oyisa Pupuma
The Saints first water polo team take on the Hilton second side in Hilton’s Ducasse Aquatic Centre at 10.30am.
The first team golf match was due to be played from 3.30pm at Victoria Country Club on Friday, 4 February.
The Hilton College 2022 first team water polo boys have had a good season to date, playing 8 matches winning 5, drawing 1 and losing 2 in scoring 90 goals with 56 against.
The team of Tanner Bailey, captain Cameron Gray, Oliver Lello, Ross Taylor, Jack Waterhouse (vice-capt), Ben Watt, Jono Bregman-Frangos, Matthew Hayes, Caine Letschert, Dean Macleod-Henderson, Stefan Swart, Retief Malherbe and Mitchel Wilson can cite just the losses to Westville and St John’s College (Houghton) as blemishes on an otherwise clean copybook.
Results so far:
beat Kearsney 19-7
Lost to Westville 10-8
Drew with Selborne 6-6
Beat Pool Roos 9-7
Beat Woodridge 19-0
Beat Pearson 14-2
Beat Grey PE 10-9
Lost 15-5 to St John’s
Results in the 29 January 2022 basketball matches between Westville and Hilton College:
Westville took a 5 from 5 clean-sweep in the U15 age group as well as winning 3 of the 4 premier age-group matches.
Westville Basketball Results vs Hilton
1st – (W) 78-70
2nd – (W) 38-13
3rd – (L) 24-39
4th – (L) 19-30
5th – (L) 22-23
16A – (W) 28-21
16B – (L) 21-23
16C – (W) 23-11
16D – (W) 26-13
16E – (W) 27-14
15A – (W) 35-24
15B – (W) 34-26
15C – (W) 14-7
15D – (W) 21-7
15E – (W) 46-4
14A – (L) 21-23
14B – (W) 9-6
14C – (L) 6-7
14D – (W) 25-4
14E – (W) 9-2
* Of the 20 matches played, Westville won 14 and Hilton 6
Home side the Hilton College first XI were able to run down the 153-run target set them by Westville to leave the Hart-Davis Oval with a six-wicket victory on Saturday, 29 January 2022.
Jake Carstens (3-46) and Kieran Kilmartin (4-36) did the damage with the ball for Hilton firsts while Messrs Pillay (50) and Doorgapersadh (40) were the mainstays with the bat in the Westville innings of 151 all out.
Hilton got home by a comfortable 6-wicket margin with Ivan Lockem ending on an unbeaten 51 and Charles Swart weighing in with a 43.
Two days earlier it had been another convincing Hilton first XI win over Westville, this time by 8 wickets in a T20 match, Westville scoring 102 for 8 in their 20 overs to which Hilton responded with 103 for 2.
* Hilton first XI are fixtured to play the Tuskers Academy Thursday afternoon in a T20 at the Hart-Davis.
Other Hilton/Westville cricket results
WB 2nds vs HC 2nds
HC 168/10 Lotter 34, Westoby 4/32
WB 144/10 Rout 5/27, Dukandar 50*
WB lost by 24 runs
WB 3rds Vs Hilton 3rds
WBHS 146/4, Burns (48), Wells 34
Hilton 147/8, Omar 3/23
WB lost by 2 wickets
WB U16A VS HC U16A
WB 123/8, Robertson 42, Kistna 30
HC 124/5, Bridgeford 46*, Shangase 3/21
WB lost by 5 wickets
WB U16B vs HC U16B
HC 71/10, Van Breda 5/6
WB 76/5, Albon 31*, Snijman 3/17
WB won by 5 wickets
WB U15A vs HC U15A
WB 271/6. Holman 106
HC 213/10. Hockley 36, Olivier 43. Payne 4/32.
WB won by 58 runs
WB U15B vs HC U15B
HC 200/10, Johnson 54, Grant 44*, Moola 4/25
HC won by 68 runs
WB U14A vs Hilton U14A
HIlton 101/10, Brooker 3 /15
WB won by 11 runs
WB U14B vs HC U14B
WB 144/10, Naicker 63, Steyn 3/26, Evans 3/18, Hove 3/13
HC 148 / 7
Hilton won by 3 wickets
Hilton won 9 and Westville 3 of the 12 matches played
Kearsney lost the toss and were asked to field in a 60/50 declaration game on the Hart-Davis Oval at Hilton College on Saturday, 22 January 2022.
In this format, as I understand it, the team batting first are allotted 60 overs in their innings with the team batting second allotted 50 overs. If the team batting first do not utilise all 60 overs the balance is transferred to the team batting second.
The feedback received from Kearsney hereunder: Information on the outstanding Hilton players in the match would be much appreciated.
“The Hilton track, which was flooded a week ago, was surprisingly batting friendly and the bowlers had to toil for any joy. The strong Hilton side, who bat deep, amassed 259/9 in their allotted 60 overs despite being 120/5 at one stage.
Pick of the Kearsney bowlers were Bryce Wiggett with 3/43 and Hayden Bishop with 3/95. Kearsney’s batting response started disastrously, with the openers back in the hut in the first over, with a solitary run on the board.
However, Hayden Bishop and Ross Coetzee knuckled down and soon utilised the batting conditions to their advantage, despite hostile bowling from the Hilton quicks, and bounce and turn from their very competent spinners.
Bishop (52) and Coetzee (82) ensured the draw with their stoicism and patience, despite a small hiccup in the latter stages where Kearsney lost three quick wickets for 13 runs. Kearsney finished on 160/7 in their allotted 50 overs – an excellent result considering the quality of the opposition on home turf.
Photo caption: Kearsney College’s number 3 batsman Hayden Bishop looks to play the ball through the off-side at Hilton.
It was a treat to see the return of competitive schoolboy cricket in KZN.
1st X1 Hilton 259/9 (B Wiggett 3/43, Bishop 3/95)
1st X1 Kearsney 160/7 (Coetzee 82, Bishop 52)
* The Kearsney College first XI host Durban High School first XI in a 100-ball match on the AH Smith Oval come 3pm this afternoon, 26 January 2022:
Kearsney first XI vs DHS today (3pm)
1 Ross Coetzee
2 Adam Zeller
3 Hayden Bishop
4 Michael de Beer (wk)
5 Bryce Wiggett (capt)
6 Fritz Rheeder
7 Dylan Wiggett
8 Ross Phillips
9 Matthew Bergset
10 Nhlakanipho Ngubane (vice-capt)
11 Asande Nyawose
Coaches: Andre van Zyl and Matt Savage
Kearsney first XI matches so far this year:
* Festival matches at Kearsney
* 10 Jan: vs Michaelhouse
* 11 Jan: Kearsney 137 all out
Dolphins Academy 141 for 5
Dolphins Academy won by 5 wickets
* 12 Jan: Kearsney 177 all out
Maritzburg College 178 for 7
Maritzburg College won by 3 wickets
* 13 Jan: Clifton 129 for 8
Kearsney 130 for 5
Kearsney won by 5 wickets
22 Jan: (Declaration match at Hart-Davis Oval, Hilton College)
Hilton 259 all out
Kearsney 160 for 7
Upcoming on 29 Jan: vs Glenwood first XI at Kearsney
# Hilton College first XI vs Kearsney College: Jake Carstens (vice-capt), Charles Swart, Ivan Lockem, Matthew Stewart, Casey Nicholson, Kristofer Watt (capt), Jarryd Pike, Ross Boast, Matt Wilson (wk), Kieran Kilmartin (vice-capt), Christopher Roy
Coach: Dale Benkenstein
# Other Hilton first XI result: lost a T20 match by 4 wickets away to Bishops on 15 January.
Hilton 135 for 8
Bishops 137 for 6
Bishops won by 4 wickets
# Next up, Hilton play Westville first XI on Thursday in a T20 match at Eston Country Club (3.30pm start) before meeting the same team at Hilton’s Hart-Davis Oval in a declaration match on Saturday, 29 January (9am start).
Oh how I miss it… flashback to 14 August 2019 and the opening of the newly minted Zungu Soccer Pavilion at Hilton College’s newly dedicated football ground, Zungu Field…
Results in recent years suggested there wouldn’t be much in it, but visitors Michaelhouse were full value for their first team’s 2-0 soccer victory over home side Hilton College on this balmy Autumn afternoon (14 August 2019) in the beautiful KZN midlands.
Jono Cook feature image: The Hilton and Michaelhouse first teams line up before the 14 August 2019 match that heralded the opening of the Zungu Soccer Pavilion on Zungu Field at the Hilton campus.
It is worth mentioning that Boys of Hilton were without their talismanic 2018 SA U17 soccer captain, match-winning goalkeeper and Manchester City trialist Constandino Christodoulou, who is out for two weeks due to injury.
And it is worth speculating whether Costi could have kept out the brace of goals that eluded his replacement, Jacob Kethro, but it would have taken a pair of phenomenal saves to deny first the on-song Men of House striker Alex Vermeulen and then fellow frontrunner the irrepressible Thabo Dlamini.
In truth, Jacob was offered very little protection by his defenders on both extremely well-taken goalscoring occasions so, Costi or no Costi, I think that this match belonged to House by a distance.
The Michaelhouse victory stage was set from the get-go, and Hilton were never given a chance to get back in the game or seriously threaten the visitors’ control.
After the initial midfield tussle for possession, a superb through-ball into the big box in the 5th minute found the athletic Michaelhouse striker Alex Vermeulen, who was strongly tackled before he could get in a goalshot.
In the 9th minute, great play on attack by Men of House centre back Luc Pousson saw a turnover but the versatile first XV rugby player was back in a jack-flash to close down a Hilton College counter-attack. This standout cameo of the Michaelhouse intent proved to be a blueprint for the game – Hilton were seldom given space.
Two minutes later a superb curling left-to-right free-kick by Michaelhouse left midfielder Mugabi Lubinga was placed square in the aerial zone of the dangerous Alex Vermeulen but a top-class header out of danger, under tremendous pressure, by Hilton College centre back Tapiwa Mushonga snuffed out the real and present danger.
Then nippy Michaelhouse marksman Thabo Dlamini got in the first of numerous goalshots in this absorbing match but Hilton keeper Jacob Kethro handled the threat comfortably.
It was all Men of House in the opening stages but the Hilton College tackles were decisive, accurate and very hard – there was no quarter asked or given in this annual soccer match – and one sensed that Boys of Hilton were beginning to find their feet.
The snag, though, was that Michaelhouse marksman and incisive 2019 KZN Inland U18 hockey forward Thabo Dlamini and partner upfront Alex Vermeulen [the 2021 Michaelhouse 1st XV captain), ably assisted by Siyanda Mkhize, were looking exceptionally sharp – and being supplied with a striker’s dream – lots of quality ball.
In the 17th minute Michaelhouse’s busy Gareth Kemp – playing in an attacking role behind the forwards – got in on the act but once again the goalshot attempt was fielded with relative comfort by the alert Hilton keeper Jacob Kethro.
A minute later it was Thabo Dlamini’s turn to just about wriggle his way through the crowded Hilton College goalmouth but the hungry sharpshooter was dispossessed at the moment critique.
Uncertainty under the sustained Michaelhouse pressure in the attacking third began to reveal itself when Siyanda Mkhize intercepted an errant Hilton College clearance but the Gareth Kemp goalshot was superbly saved by keeper Jacob Kethro diving to his left.
Into minute 21 and Gareth Kemp and Thabo Dlamini both got in (off-target) goalshots before a heavy tackle on Gareth Kemp a minute later earned Michaelhouse a direct free-kick just outside the big box, but the Alex Vermeulen strike flew high and wide.
The neutral scoreline was finally altered soon after, when Michaelhouse’s Kwanele Khumalo threaded his way through the left channel before his layoff was slammed into the Hilton College net by striker Alex Vermeulen to make the score Michaelhouse 1 Hilton 0.
Into the 25th minute and following a wayward Alex Vermeulen goalshot, Hilton took the opportunity to break out fast but their rare attacking move amounted to zero, as Men of House’s back four moved smartly to contain the threat.
Michaelhouse retaliated with back-to-back attacks at the other end that came close to nudging the scoreboard further in their favour.
About 29 minutes gone and finally Hilton garnered a great goalshot opportunity but captain Simi Bhembe blazed his strong strike over the crossbar, which led into halftime, the score reading Michaelhouse 1 (Alex Vermeulen) Hilton College 0.
* One could not help surmising that Men of House might come to regret they didn’t convert at least one more goalshot opportunity into something tangible on the scoreboard, but that would depend on what unfolded in the second half.
Into the second half we went and I don’t know what Hilton College coach Cele Mbanjwa said to his lads but they looked a much-improved outfit. Would it be sustained throughout the half, though? Michaelhouse were certainly not going to give up their lead without a fight.
And as if to underline the Men of House resolve, a crucial intercept by Michaelhouse centre back Luc Pousson stymied a top-quality Hilton attacking sortie out left.
7 minutes into the second half and a beautifully-weighted through-ball ball by Michaelhouse centre midfielder Michael Ross set up Alex Vermeulen but his goalshot brought a fine reflex save from Hilton keeper Jacob Kethro.
After their promising start to the second half, the pressure on the Hilton defence was beginning to build again – a la the first half –and not much more than a minute or two after the Kethro save, it was the pocket Men of House rocket Thabo Dlamini put in the clear… and he coolly picked his spot to jettison Michaelhouse into a 2-0 lead.
A match constant was the Michaelhouse and Hilton supporters cheering, chanting and drum-rolling their first teams on to greater heights as they searched for victory in this annual match in the long history of these two great South African schools.
Well into the second half, Michaelhouse captain and keeper Noah Stanger finally got a meaningful touch on the ball but the Hilton chance was once again lost and the retaliation from deep saw Michaelhouse striker Thabo Dlamini set free with a seemingly sure-fire gold-rush opportunity – only to see his goalshot flash past the wrong side (the right side, from a Hilton perspective) of the far post.
A heavy tackle in midfield on Hilton College captain Simi Bhembe saw a Michaelhouse man yellow-carded and one pondered whether this could be the moment opportune for Hilton to erase the 2-goal deficit?
However, Michaelhouse centre back Nick Crampton again displayed a telling example of the Men of House’s resolve in this intriguing derby – tall and strong – a tower of stability and measured calm – in the heart of the visitors’ defence.
Then when Hilton had a player banished to the sin-bin after a heavy tackle, the visitors’ 2-0 lead in this annual marquee soccer match was already inscribed in the history books for the Men of House.
And so it was; leaving the big crowd satisfied with what they had witnessed as a spectacle, albeit with slightly mixed emotions depending on which side of the N3 your allegiances may lie.
Hilton College 0
1 Jacob Kethro
12 Motheo Makwana
2 Kopano Segoale (vc)
14 Tally Tshekiso
3 Tapiwa Mushonga
6 Suubi Mugerwa-Sekawabe
11 Tanaka Matsa
7 William Raw
9 Wandile Zulu
10 Simi Bhembe (c)
8 Jonathan Tlhagoane
18 Sabelo Moshesh
15 Lwazi Mkatshana
13 Onye Adirika
17 Mamucha Munthali
5 Vuyo Zungu
Head coach Celo Mbanjwa
1 Noah Stanger (c)
3 Luc Pousson
8 Nick Crampton
5 Michael Bradford
6 Mugabi Lubinga
10 Kwanele Khumalo
1 Conor MacColl
7 Gareth Kemp
4 Michael Ross
13 Alexander Vermeulen
9 Thabo Dlamini (vc)
18 Matthew Craigie-Stevenson
14 Hugo Ayo
11 Letlotlo Kebonang
15 Arden Scholtz
12 Siyanda Mkhize
Head coach Ryan van Wyk
“I remember struggling to sleep, my mind racing and hands sweating days before Saturday. The butterflies and excitement in the build-up during the week of a first team match were that much more intense for a Hilton/Michaelhouse.
“I still get goosebumps when I hear Brothers in Arms, the song that played during Main Quad war-cries on the Friday night.”
Thomas van der Hoven feature photo: Michaelhouse in possession on Meadows in the 5 May 2018 clash.
It is a measure of the impact the Hilton/Michaelhouse matches have on the participants when one learns that the comment above comes from a man who played 56 Tests for the Springboks before his career was sadly cut short at the age of 28. None other than the Michaelhouse Class of 2008’s Patrick Jonathan Lambie.
Of the 202 Hilton/Michaelhouse first XV rugby matches that have been played so far (Hilton won the inaugural match 6-0 in 1904) the Michaelhouse lads have won 99 with Hilton having won 93 and 10 of the matches having been drawn.
The excellent Murray Staats article that appeared in the Meander Chronicle May/June 2019 edition also mentions the rather unique scenario that played out in 1987 when the scorelines in the 2 matches were 7-7 and 9-9.
In a Covid-free world. this past Saturday, 12 June 2021 would have been the 205th match between the Hilton College and Michaelhouse first XVs. Because of Covid, however, this past Saturday marked the 3rd successive cancellation of this hallmark biannual event on the KZN and SA schools rugby calendar.
The last time the flagship rugby teams of Hilton and Michaelhouse met was on 15 June 2019 when Hilton prevailed 28-8 away on Meadows. Because of Covid the 2020 Hilton and Michaelhouse first teams never got the chance to experience what is a landmark event in the lives of everyone who has had the privilege of being a player in it over the last 118 years.
There was much hope and anticipation this year that the matches would take place – even if without spectators, which number in the thousands in a normal year.
Hilton, under the captaincy of number 8 and head of school Nick Hatton, had started the year with much promise, accounting for Northwood 31-6 away on 8 May in what, in recent times, was a late start to the season (because of Covid) before beating Durban High School (DHS) in convincing fashion 44-5 at home in their lone match on Gilfillan the following Saturday.
Then came the controversial call from government to ban school contact sports, despite government admitting that there was no evidence to suggest Covid was being transmitted during matches. Instead, government said, the virus was being spread outside the confines of the school grounds. Studies in Britain confirmed that there was no evidence to suggest Covid was being spread during matches.
Due to the delays in the school year and other Covid-related concerns, what would have been a very short season for Hilton anyway – just 7 matches were scheduled this year – has to date been cut down to the 2 matches already held. The matches that followed the DHS match – against Glenwood and Westville, which surely would have been hotly contested, were cancelled, as with this past Saturday’s Michaelhouse match.
There are still 2 matches left on the Hilton calendar, that against Kearsney College on 17 July and then Michaelhouse at home on 24 July in what would have been the return clash.
With the current Covid third wave issue, the prospects of these matches taking place appear almost nil. So for the second successive year, the two school’s premier rugby players will never know the thrill of being part of something that becomes a lifelong treasured memory for the participants.
As with Nick Hatton and Team Hilton, the disappointment for first XV fullback and captain Alexander Vermeulen and Team Michaelhouse must be profound.
Michaelhouse managed 4 matches before the cancellation, beating Clifton 30-5 in Durban before edging home side Kearsney 26-24. Then came 2 narrow defeats, going down 17-10 at Westville before a 12-3 loss to Glenwood 4 days later in their lone home match on Meadows.
Men of House still have 2 matches left on the calendar, at home to St Charles College on 17 July and then the away match versus Hilton on 24 July.
Of course this current scenario encompasses all KZN school winter contact sports so there are thousands of boys (in the context of this story) missing out on an experience that, for many of their predecessors, led to treasured memories and lifelong friendships.
Indeed, when Old Boys of the KZN10 schools gather, their teams and match-ups of yesteryear often form the opening lines of conversation and before long the fond reminiscences are being swapped back and forth.
With the school sporting calendar so congested as it is; competing sports treasure their time to shine during their allocated time slots through the year, allied to academic priorities, it seems that even if the Covid situation were to improve rapidly it would be too late for thoughts of squeezing in a Hilton/Michaelhouse rugby fixture somewhere.
We are all poorer for it.
IMAGINE, if just for a metaphorical moment, you’re confined to “my” (outrageously make-believe) 1998 Hilton College matric class on a sultry early afternoon, a reluctant non-participant (you’re wrong side of the window after all) in the somnolent haze of a gorgeous summer’s day in the breath-taking KZN midlands… and… (sigh some more) your thoughts wander away (if only just for a moment) from my fascinating insights into the intricacies of linear algebra concepts…
“Yuppiechef,” you silently say to yourself, “in 8 years’ time (2006) I’m going to start Yuppiechef with a Maritzburg College guy I’ve never met and by the time I hit 40 YC will be sold to Mr Price for around R470 million cash (on 15 March 2021)!”
Now I hear you, dear reader, say: “Okay Jono, stop being somnolent, you are acting somnolently and are experiencing somnolence. Nothing worthwhile happens that easy, dear boy.”
So true. And now that I have, hopefully, got your attention (and just before I lose it forever) here is a glimpse into the success story that is Hilton College Old Boy Andrew Smith, who graduated from Hilton 23 years ago having obtained the school’s top academic marks in his 1998 matric year.
‘If you don’t actually enjoy the process and enjoy the journey of what you’re doing then you’re lost’
A degree in computer science beckoned but the idea palled after a few months when compared to the lure of a senior programming job with a tech business in the KZN capital.
* Btw if you are fast becoming seriously irritated-stroke-confused by my (nevertheless) mindful meanderings take a quick look here
before getting back to this story.
Andrew then moved to Cape Town and struck up a friendship with a 1992 Maritzburg College Old Boy by the name of Shane Dryden and LiveAlchemy was the result, an agency that offered web development and marketing services.
‘You need to find the intersection between an opportunity that
exists in the market, something you’re good at, and something you enjoy’
On the side, in around 2005, the duo began selling a medley of products online – the first one being the Bug Zapper, an Eskom-propelled racket-stroke-bat that swatted incalcitrant flies with deadly abandon. It was the first goodie the pair ever sold (albeit to Andrew’s mum) and the seed of today’s Yuppiechef mega-success was born.
Dr Nemesis’s note to reader: the inescapable agent of every errant fly’s downfall, said Bug Zapper, obviously worked… a million bucks’ worth of The Nightmare on Bug Street were sold to grateful online customers.
‘The only way to success is to get into the kitchen and get on with it’
After the intrepid duet had sold assorted bits and bobs across space that is cyber, Shane came up with the idea (like all good Maritzburg College boys… sorry, had to slip that in…) of flogging kitchenware the same way and on that self-same platform.
“We wanted to build a brand of our own,” Andrew is quoted as saying. “In 2006 we had the skills but no money, so e-commerce was an accessible business to start. Shane had a passion for cooking, and we knew the local wholesalers of one brand, so we launched with 32 products.”
From the lounge of Andrew’s Cape Town home (in Plumstead), the Maritzburg College/Hilton combo chose 3 spare days to get things going. On Day 3 the website went live. Products were packaged, plans made, in that lounge. The only time they had to spend on this new venture was after their day-job work was done.
A grand total of 10 sales to family and friends plus 1 sale outside their immediate circle was the slender dividend after 4 months. It took 12 months to realise a modest total of 200 customers. With no spare cash, new stock could only be acquired once stock-in-hand had been bought and paid for.
It took 5 years before work for their LiveAlchemy clients was wrapped up. It took 5 years before the pair could reasonably draw a monthly salary from the proceeds of Yuppiechef sales.
A warehouse in Cape Town’s Westlake finally relieved the congestion in the Smith family lounge. At last, full-focus could be applied to what had become “Yuppiechef” – a name dreamt up by Shane while lying in bed on a Sunday morning.
Around 2017, Andrew had said in an interview (with Roberta Thatcher, I think): “Ten years on, we look back at our journey and ask, ‘Why did we do it that way?’ The truth is that you cannot plot your success on a timeline and simply pick and choose the events that you think made the most positive contribution. Understanding how magic really works is elusive and perhaps everything that we’ve done in the last decade has had an invaluable impact.
“A lot of successful people can point to their hard work and their genius and their great team, but they leave out the fact that you have to be in the right place at the right time. We have benefited a lot from good timing.”
It certainly was an excellent time to start something in e-commerce in South Africa. And the success of shows like Masterchef; that rock star of kitchen matters… Jamie Oliver; had brought a sexiness and sense of cool to cooking.
Shane and Andrew had seen the future… what was happening in countries beyond our shores… it was online… they had a crystal-clear insight into the way that South Africa would be forced to catch up with the world.
“You are dealing with all the same things as traditional retailers, your shop front just happens to be a technical store. So it’s sourcing the right products and then having them on the shelf to be able to start marketing, telling people about it and then serving them. Customer service is key.
“Most of our customer service is just employing people who care… and creating a culture of really, genuinely, caring about our customers.’
‘Customers who have a problem and get it solved
have a bigger lifetime value than customers who never have a problem’
Andrew says if you don’t actually enjoy the work, it’s going to be very difficult, because so few businesses get off the ground as quickly as the founders think they’re going to. “A lot of the time in your own business it’s years and years and years before you make any money. And then more years before you make enough money to stop doing whatever your other work is.”
Jono’s note to self: So many more aspects I would like to mention here, but there are still my pieces on Shane Dryden and the third member of the Yuppiechef movement, Andrew’s classmate Paul Galatis, to come, so let me save that for later. I think the Andrew Smith quote below is a nice way to end this one.]
“A big part of the meaning of everything for me is finding out what am I uniquely supposed to be doing. What is unique in me that’s not in anyone else. And you can call that, ‘What have I been created to do’, or ‘What am I destined to do’, or ‘What has luck made me good at doing’?
“But whatever it is, to understand yourself and understand what you offer to the world is something I don’t think a lot of people do. If I understand who am I and what am I better at than anyone else at doing (and what should I avoid doing because I really suck at it) I’m going to be the biggest contribution to the world around me.
“Very often that journey of self-discovery leads to the discovery of an even bigger meaning and purpose in life.”
What I know you’d like to know about Andrew Smith –
# He’s married, likes making biltong and can’t live without a decent coffee machine… “the ritual of trying to make the perfect cup is part of the enjoyment”
# He’s not particularly into cooking; his wife is the cook and baker; his home is known for chicken pie and lemon meringue
# He gets great pleasure in picking out good beers and whiskey and enjoying them with family and friends while breathing in the Cape Town sea air out on the patio
Next up its Yuppiechef co-founder Shane Dryden, the Maritzburg College Class of 1992 Old Boy, then it’ll be a turn to take a pot-luck-look at the third member of the Yuppiechef Big Three, the 1998 Hilton College head boy Paul Galatis, who was Andrew Smith’s matric classmate and joined YC 2 years after its inception.
Around end-September 2020 would have seen the 61st edition of Maritzburg College’s stellar Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week… but it was not to be. These annual four days of cricket, glorious schoolboy first XI cricket, have been etched into my sporting heart for so long it felt almost like a bereavement at the time.
Feature photo: Some of the Oppenheimer Michaelmas Cricket Week’s most distinguished alumni. See how many you can identify and then attach them to their schools.
Yes, there are far more important things in life, yet at the same time one must not minimise the impact of the special things that make the trials and tribulations of life (almost) bearable.
As a reminder of what we have taken for granted – until last year- here is a look at the KZN10.com first XI line-ups that represented our province’s premier cricket schools at the 2017 OMCW.
Let’s not worry about scores etc. Let’s just reflect on names and the personal and collective cricket memories they conjure up.
Maybe you’d like to share some of them?
2017 KZN first XI’s at the 58th Oppenhemer Michaelmas Cricket Week
Hosts Maritzburg College first XI
Scott Steenkamp (capt), Damian Walden, Brad Sherwood, Matt Crampton, Michael Horan, Brynley Noble, Andre Bradford, Jayden Gengan, Cameron Holloway, Jared Campbell, Dean Dyer, Keagan Collyer. Staff: Dave and Elmarie Pryke
Clifton College first XI
William Masojada (capt?), Scott Quinn, Matthew Montgomery, Joshua Brown, Luke Shave, Simon Holmes, Ariq Chetty, Daniel Freitag, Daniel Elgar, Connor Veitch, Jason Groves, Muhammad Noorbhai, James Feuilharde. Staff: Matt Savage, Yash Ebrahim, Oliver Cash
Kearsney College first XI
Blaise Carmichael, Patrick McGrath, Rory Bloy, Luke de Vlieg (capt), Robbie Koenig, Steven Conway, Michael Brokensha, Marco Gouviea, Carl Heunis, Jared Brien, Jethro Strydom, Bradley Beaumont. Staff: Hubert von Ellewee, Jonathan Beaumont
Michaelhouse first XI
Sean Gilson (capt), Tom Price, William Glassock, William Norton, Thomas Trotter, Fraser Jones, Nathan Wesson, Michael Brownlee, Liam England, Declan Newton, Gift Mokoena, Cameron Leer, Michael Meneer. Staff: Dean Forword, Jason Wulfsohn
Northwood first XI
Slater Capell (capt?), Ali Hamid, Jordan Edy, Andile Mogagane, Daniel Zvidzui, Alvin Chiradza, Samkelo Gasa, Wander Mtolo, Jeremy Martins, Mpumelelo Xulu, Luke Stevens, Cameron Ciaglia, Nicolas Deeb. Staff: Divan van Wyk, Riaan Minnie
Hilton College first XI
Robbie McGaw, James Ritchie, Michael Sclanders, Gareth Schreuder, Chris Meyer, Brandon McMullen (capt), Michael Booth, Alistair Frost, Jared Venter, Alex Roy, Mike Frost, Kamogelo Selane, William Haynes. Staff: Dale Benkenstein, Sean Carlisle
DHS first XI
Safwaan Barradeen, Kribashan Naidoo, Liam Green, Martin Mugoni, Sumiran Ramlakkan, Jordan Bryan, Joshua Stride (capt?), Brayden Sambhu, Sinolin Pather, Taine Owen, Tawanda Zimhindo, Rodney Mapfudza. Staff: Oss Gcilitshana, Florian Genade
Glenwood first XI
Daelen Fynn (capt?), Jared Paul, Thamsanqa Khumalo, Cameron Reid, Caleb Alexander, Joe Jonas, Nikhil Prem, Hayden Rossouw, Alex Pillay, Khwezi Gumede, Jaden Hendrikse, Nathan Archibald. Staff: Jarryd Chetty, Brandon Scullard, Bevon Futter
Westville first XI
Carl Jairaj (capt), Matthew Pollard, Sam Gervasoni, Josh Brady, Josh Parker, Caleb Pillay, Brandon McCabe, Hayden Bowman, Jaryd Cook, Bonga Chepkonga, Keshlan Govender, Jandre Viljoen, Mazwi Meyiwa, Jarred Oosthuizen. Staff: Fabian Lazarus, Thomas Jackson, Chester Comins
* Not sure if all the captains are correct. Please advise. Thanks