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Emperors Palace and Reach for a Dream make brave teen Asi’s dream come true.

Asi (15), diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, had his dream of owning an Xbox Series X controllers realised by Emperors Palace and Reach for a Dream.

For over 35 years, the Reach for a Dream Foundation has helped hundreds of children fighting life-threatening illnesses realising their dreams.

The proof was literally in the pudding as Jerry Chauke and Asi had the chance to taste it. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep
The proof was literally in the pudding as Jerry Chauke and Asi had the chance to taste it. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep

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On May 17, it was 15-year-old Asi Matshalilanga of Northcliff’’s turn to live out his dream of owning Xbox Series X controllers. Asi is a brave young boy who was recently diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
He is currently in Grade 10 and, before his diagnosis, loved playing cricket, soccer, and rugby. In addition to his love of sports, his favourite subject is consumer studies. Asi loves cooking, and it is what he enjoys doing the most when he is at home. When he grows up, he would like to be a chef, as he enjoys cooking.

To make his dream an unforgettable experience, Reach for a Dream, in conjunction with Emperors Palace, invited Asi to don an apron and spend time in the Rosetta Bistro’s kitchen. With the help of the Palace of Dreams, sous chef Jerry Chauke and commi chefs Makoma Letsie and Khanyi Hadebe, Asi quickly started making pizzas, trifle, and even chicken stir fry, which he enjoyed with his family and the chefs.

Khanyi Hadebe helps Asi place the chicken stir fry. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep
Khanyi Hadebe helps Asi place the chicken stir fry. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep

Also read: Young chefs … Have you got what it takes?

When quizzed on what he enjoyed the most about his visit to the Palace of Dreams, the young dreamer said making the pizzas, especially the first one, which had his favourite toppings – plenty of cheese, chicken, and mushrooms. He believes that pineapple and banana don’t belong on a pizza, so he wasn’t a big fan of the vegetarian pizza he made second, which had pineapple on it. He also enjoyed making and eating the trifle. The proof of what he learned was definitely in the pudding.

Makoma Letsie, Khanyi Hadebe and Jerry Chauke help Asi place the stir fry. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep
Makoma Letsie, Khanyi Hadebe and Jerry Chauke help Asi place the stir fry. Photo: Yolanda van der Stoep

The day ended with the reveal of Asi’s dream: Xbox Series X controllers. He could not believe his dream came true. Not only did he spend the day immersed in his passion for cooking, but Emperors Palace and Reach for a Dream made his dream come true, giving him hope that tomorrow is worth fighting for.

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