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» 03 Oct 2008

The early years

N’Tasha was born in Pretoria, the executive capital of South Africa. Her parents believed that she “had to earn money the hard way” and so, while still at school, she had two jobs, a credit controller at a large chain and a waitress at the local steakhouse.

Wanderlust took hold for a time and N’Tasha travelled around South Africa, staying for a while in Durban where she worked for Dunlop Slazenger in customer services before moving again to East London and finding work with Protea Hotels.
After returning to South Africa to complete her studies, N’Tasha worked for the ABSA bank. Starting as a teller for a meager salary, she quickly worked her way up to management level. Little did she know that all this work experience, dealing with customers and providing them efficient services and quality products, was to prove to be invaluable as the opportunity arose for her to combine her passion for good food with her love for Thailand.


The wittily named Thaifoon restaurant is well known for its “Angry Duck” and “Tom Yum” seafood soup and at two years of age is going from strength to strength. N’Tasha shares the workload with her husband David and attributes their success to their passion for the services and products that they offer and excellent customer relations.

The input of positive people is also important as it offers the opportunity to listen and learn from them. N’tasha’s father in law is a perfect example of such a person, and the long, hard road he took to success has taught her much.

N’Tasha loves a bit of competition as she finds it motivating and is currently venturing into two other business areas. She sums up her attitude to work succinctly, “You have to enjoy what you are doing and I wouldn’t want it any other way, I love meeting people and I feel that I have achieved my goal when my customers leave saying ‘It was wonderful, thank you’”.


While on holiday in Wales N’Tasha met David Lan Yee Chiu who was studying for an MBA at the time. They quickly fell in love and as fate would have it, it turned out that both their families lived in Mauritius! David is Mauritian and has a family business in Port Louis. N’Tasha’s father set up the Mauritian branch of the Form Scaff scaffolding company, still located at Plaine Lauzun in Pailles, and lived in the country for 15 years before moving back to South Africa.

N’Tasha and David have been married for over 6 years now and have one 20 month old daughter. N’Tasha recalls her surprise when she realized that there were going to be 600 people at the wedding, “Back in South Africa 200 guests is considered to be a huge wedding, but in Mauritius they celebrate in style and volume. The guest list also impressed me as we had ambassadors and ministers Etc. to name but a few. Needless to say I felt quite important!”

Not surprisingly, there was much to learn when combining a Chinese and South African family, but they get along very well and enjoy celebrating both cultures’ festivities, a benevolent trait that is common amongst the people in the melting-pot that is Mauritius.


“I love Mauritius. I love the fact that we are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and clean white beaches.” Amen to that! The friendliness of the people also rates highly on N’Tasha’s list of the island’s virtues, as does the quality of life, “There is always someone saying hello in the street, or while you are driving, or stopping you for a little chat in the local supermarket.”

Other strengths are the country’s stable and sound economy, the ethnic diversity of the population, its differing cultures, the fact that both English and French are spoken and the relatively low crime rate. “I feel that Mauritius is a safe place for my daughter to grow up in. I am very happy that my child will grow up in a multi- cultural country, it is very important to me that she grows up free.”
N’Tasha recommends that visitors try a sunset cruise on a catamaran and visit different parts of the island to discover its many hidden treasures. She is a keen scuba diver and this is something that people might also like to try. Last but not least, she thinks that tourists should take time to meet the locals and leave Mauritius with fond memories of a friendly nation.

The Future

Making a difference in people’s lives is very important to N’Tasha and is something that she would like to be remembered for, along with being a person who cared for others. She feels that life should be embraced and that people, ex-patriots in particular, should beware being over-nostalgic. She sums it up nicely with a simple eloquence,

“Put down your roots, but make the world your home.”

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