Shandukani Joyce Mulaudzi was born in 1973 on top of the Soutpansberg mountains on the western side of Louis Trichardt on the farm Bangor. In 1985, during the apartheid years, and the forced removals, Joyce’s father bought a house in the village of Saamkom. Here, Joyce continued with school and passed matric. After graduating she worked as a domestic worker and a shop assistant. The farm Bangor had by now been bought by the Rosmarin family and named Leshiba Wilderness. The family created a nature reserve and the village where Joyce was born was restored and turned into a lodge in the form of an authentic Venda village. In 2001, Joyce was asked to to cover for her sister as a housekeeper at Leshiba, during her maternity leave. John Rosmarin says that Joyce spoke English well, showed huge promise, had a shining personality and worked incredibly hard. After only three months, she was employed permanently.
Joyce went from being a domestic worker, to a chef’s assistant and eventually became the chef at the Venda village. With support from the Rosmarin family and hands-on training by her managers, Joyce gradually took on more responsibility at the lodge and became the manager, together with her colleague Lukas. Joyce and Lukas now handle the e-mail bookings, guest payments, manage the staff, do the buying and stock-taking, and are both chefs. They make a remarkable management team and the Rosmarin family are immensely proud of them. The circle has been completed and Joyce is back in the Venda village, which was once her father’s home and her own birthplace.