Waiting to speak to speak to Wardah Cassiem of Wadi’s Kitchen, it is apparent that it is both her delicious food and her friendly, vivacious personality that ensures a steady flow of customers to her food cart. This Stellenbosch resident comes from a family of inspiring cooks, bakers and chefs. Her mother, Rasheedah, raised her to be multi-skilled– especially in the kitchen. Wardah’s love for experimenting with food was inspired by her mother, who has her own small pastry business called “Rasheedah’s Pastries”. Her speciality is pastries including the tasty pies and samoosas that are found on the Wadi’s Kitchen menu.
Wardah grew up in an entrepreneurial family, and fondly remembers assisting her Aunt preparing Boerewors Rolls on sports days and assisting with preparation and sales of homemade rolls. She believes that being exposed to the spirit and challenges of entrepreneurial life resulted in hard work, passion, and dedication becoming second nature.
Although Wardah began by preparing food only for her own family, she did not hesitate when offered the opportunity to manage a food stall at the Hub. She is grateful for the opportunity and excited to expand her skill-set and be part of the entrepreneurial community. The Wadi’s Kitchen menu offers a combination of modern and Malay cuisine with Boerewors Rolls, Roti’s, and Curries being firm favourites amongst her customers. Wardah is mindful of her customers and makes sure to cater for all tastes and budgets.
As a second year Bachelor of Education student, mother, wife, and business owner, Wardah has to manage her time carefully. Fortunately she has a strong support system and as she studies online, she can to operate her business while studying. While her long term goal is to become a teacher, she believes that cooking will always be an important part of her life. Wardah credits her dad, Mogamat Amien Cassiem, as a driving force behind her start in business. With his support, she started her business to generate income to assist with her university fees. His passing during the Covid-19 pandemic was an enormous loss to his family who were accustomed to his steadfast support in every one of their ventures. Faith is an important aspect of Wardah’s life and provides her with the strength and refuge she needs when faced with challenges.
Wardah’s mother’s motto has served her well: “If you can do something with your hands, you will never struggle. You will be able to work yourself out of difficult times with hard work and perseverance”