Kenya tops hospitality category at the World Skills Competition 2022 in Namibia

Kenyan competitors (from left) Joseph Kiarie, Victoria Wanjiku, Shradhra Shah and Maxwell Magoi. [Winfrey Owino, Standard]

Kenya has emerged among the top teams in cooking and restaurant services at the World Skills Africa 2022 competitions that ended Saturday night in Swakopmund, Namibia.

The competitions ran for the whole of last week.

Two students from Boma International Hospitality College bagged gold in the restaurant services category and a bronze in cooking during the just-concluded competitions in the southwestern African country.

Shradhra Saijul Shah, from the Boma International Hospitality College, beat her counterparts from Madagascar, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to emerge top of her group.

Shah, 21, promised to work even harder to protect her crown during the World Skills Competition, which will be held in Shanghai, China.

"I am extremely elated by the win. I will now be focusing on the world competition and hopefully defend my title, " she noted.

In the cooking competition, Joseph Kiarie came third in a highly competitive category closely behind hosts Namibia and South Africa.

"I would like to urge my fellow youth to focus their energies on self-development and improve their skills, " Kiarie told The Standard after his win.

Shrandha Shah, a Kenyan representative in restaurant services at the World Skills Competition 2022 in Swakopmund, Namibia. [Courtesy]

Chef Robert Kabia, an expert at BIHC and a trainer in cooking Said: "We have been preparing for this competition since 2019 but we started training in January 2022. We train for four hours daily and Saturday whole day”.

He foresaw more gold medals in the upcoming competitions in Shanghai, China later this year.

The string of best performances was also seen in the Mechatronic Engineering category, where a tag-team of Victoria Wambui and Maxwell Magoi produced a stellar performance.

The duo came third in a skill area that was also dominated by the hosts Namibia, South Africa. Kenya managed to beat Ghana.

Technical Vocational Education and Training PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima said the government was pulling all stops to ensure that more skills are presented in other continental and world pieces.

"Be sure of Kenya's unwavering support in your future endeavours. Next time we will have an even bigger delegation of competitors, " she said.

Cooking competitor Joseph Kiarie, CEO World Skills Kenya Dr Kipkirui Langat and restaurant services competitor Shrandhra Shah. [Winfrey Owino, Standard]

In her inaugural appearance, Kenya presented candidates in three out of sixteen categories in an event that brought together nine countries from the continent.

The Director-General TVET who also doubles up as the CEO of WorldSkills Kenya, Dr Kipkirui Lang'at, said Kenya was negotiating to host the next continental competition.

"We are lobbying and working hard towards having the event in Kenya. We have the capacity. We have a youthful team and we will be able to work with them even in other competitions," he said.

Focus will now shift to Shanghai, China, where the next global World Skills Competition will be staged in October this year.

Chairman of the World Skills Africa Board," Chris Humphries, said with a continent of 55 countries, there was a need to have at least 20 countries joining World Skills Competition in the next competition by the time the continent meets for the next competition.

"I would like to urge African parents to nurture their children's skills because, in the next decade, Africa's economy will be run solely by the skilled youth,” he said.