When Gbolabo Adebakin (Chef Gibbs) embarked on his career journey, he was a university student with a passion for food and the culinary arts. However, he lacked a clear understanding of how to translate that passion into a thriving career. It was during a university strike that his aunt, familiar with the founder of WAVE, suggested he join the training program and for him, this decision would change the course of his life.
In his own words, Chef Gibbs recalls the initial challenges of waking up early for training, connecting it to the discipline required in employment. The program not only provided him with valuable skills but also instilled a work ethic that would prove instrumental in his future endeavors.
The guest facilitators played a pivotal role, opening his eyes to the possibilities within the food and hospitality industry.
One memorable moment during his training was a visit from an inspiring chef whose words resonated deeply with Chef Gibbs. This encounter provided answers to some lingering questions and also marked the first step towards a promising career.
As he reflects, "The most important skill I learned at WAVE was negotiation skills. It still pops in my head always, it is something that is lacking in the hospitality space today."
The emphasis on negotiation skills during his training became a cornerstone of Chef Gibbs' success. In a world where soft skills are often undervalued, the negotiation skills he learned at WAVE made a lasting impact on his professional journey. Even after completing the program, Chef Gibbs continues to value and apply this skill in his daily life.
After the training, he was faced with the choice between becoming a Sous Chef or a Barista. After seeking counsel, he opted for the Barista role to broaden his skill set.
In 2018, Chef Gibbs won the Knorr Taste Quest Cooking competition, and in 2023, he triumphed in the Mastercard Kitchen Nigeria competition. Not only did he excel in competitions, but he also facilitated the Hilda Baci Guinness World Record Cook-a-thon. These achievements are a testament to Chef Gibbs' growth as a professional in his field.
Chef Gibbs views WAVE and the training as a finishing school; a place that equips young people for the world of work. In his words, "It packages you for the world of work."
This impression reflects the importance of young people developing employability skills that would set them up for success in the world of work. Read more stories here.