Humans of RCL FOODS – Gabriel Makgalabone

Gabriel Mokgalabone is one of our incredible Humans of RCL FOODS, a man with great dreams and even greater determination. In one year, he went from being a general worker to an intern and then a Research and Development (R&D) Assistant in Pet Food. We asked him to tell us about his journey.

Gabriel was born and raised in Mohlabaneng Village in Tzaneen, Limpopo. He completed his BSc in Biochemistry in 2014, but was unable to find a job until mid-2019. What changed his circumstances was his decision to walk 28km to and from our Randfontein Grocery plant every day until he got work.

After 10 long months, he was employed as a General Worker, first on our Yum Yum  production line and then at the Bobtail plant. He was soon promoted to Packaging Machine Operator, Document Clerk, then Food Safety Clerk. One of his duties was to take pet food production samples to the laboratory for nutritional verifications – and that’s when he set his heart on working there.

Since there were no lab vacancies at the time, Gabriel chose to volunteer to gain experience. For the next 10 months, he worked his normal nine-hour shift and spent another two hours in the lab every day. He also completed a food safety system certificate.

“I was then afforded an invaluable opportunity to serve in New Product Development as an Intern, and now I am permanently registered as R&D Assistant in the lab,” he says. One of the things he loves about his job is being able to provide his own dogs and other pets with good nutrition.

This is just the first step for Gabriel. In five years, he dreams of leading his division and he’s already preparing himself for the role. He aims to enrol for a Post Graduate Diploma in Animal Health, and also wants to study Operational Management to equip him for leadership.  He is constantly learning from those more experienced than him, including his internal mentors, Desmond Sheshoeni and Christina de Beer.

On a daily basis, he is fuelled by his personal purpose – “to make a difference everywhere I go, in everything I do”.

What is the secret to Gabriel’s success so far? “I didn’t see the challenges around me but saw myself as a soldier in training. In everything I commit to, giving up is not an option. I either find a way or make one.”

Thank you Gabriel for sharing your inspiring story with us.