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Unsung hero...

Name: Mthandazo Bafana

Age: 60 

Position: Prep team leader

At: The Wetherby Whaler, Wetherby, West Yorkshire 



Nominated by:

Caroline Murphy, director of The Wetherby Whaler, who says:  “I am nominating Mthandazo Bafana, affectionately known as ‘Boyz’, because he is hardworking, conscientious, honest and reliable – he hasn’t had a day off sick in 12 years, which confirms this!

Boyz joined us in the prepping department, and over the years has developed his role within the branch, making him irreplaceable.  As a true gentleman, who comes to work every day dressed in his business attire, Boyz is one of the kindest, honourable and caring people I have ever met.

Every year Boyz travels home to South Africa to see his family for five weeks; we miss him terribly during this time and count the days to his return!


How long have you worked at The Wetherby Whaler

I joined the company 12 years ago after leaving my home in South Africa to support my wife in a nursing role in Wetherby. In that time I think I have rumbled over 70,000 sacks of potatoes and cooked over 10,000 pans of peas!


What are your responsibilities?

My main role is to prep the potatoes five days a week, but there is no job too big or too small for me, so I am also responsible for stock control, cleaning, and checking the streets of the lovely market town of Wetherby for our litter.

My favourite role is cooking the mushy peas, which are my pride and joy! I cook them with lots of care and attention every day, and I know our customers love our delicious mushy peas from the Wetherby Whaler!


What’s your favourite part of the job?

I love working with the younger members of staff, especially when it is their first experience of work. They are often nervous and need teaching skills to get them started!

I love to be organised and complete my jobs for the day. When I leave to go home I like to reflect and see what I have accomplished for the day and go home happy with my results.


What’s your least favourite part of the job?

I don’t like it when people come along and mess with the cooking of my peas, or leave my stock rooms or freezer unorganised!


What is it you like about working at The Wetherby Whaler?

I like the level of responsibility I am given in my job to implement my own ideas. I have made the job my own over the years and I have managed to install my high level of personal responsibility and hard work to the team.

I have also made some great friends. We all enjoyed celebrating my 60th birthday together recently with a surprise meal for me, which was very thoughtful.


How do you feel about being nominated?

I am extremely honoured and proud.

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