Lutho Thomas

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Lutho Thomas

School: Past Scholar - Simon’s Town Lawhill Maritime Centre, 2017 – 2019

Currently: Deckhand M/Y Mirage

Lutho Thomas was the recipient of the first Community Property Fund Lawhill Maritime Bursary. His journey at Lawhill Maritime Centre (“Lawhill”) began at the beginning of his Grade 10 year in 2017. Lutho is originally from KwaZakhele, a township 12kms out of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. He was introduced to the Lawhill programme by a teacher from his previous school, Molly Blackburn High School, and he successfully applied for the Community Property Fund Bursary.

During his time at Lawhill, Lutho transformed from a reserved young man into an avid sportsman and leader. In 2019 he was elected Head Boy of Simon’s Town High School, was part of the Representative Council of Learners Committee and he regularly participated in extra mural activities including rowing, sailing, cycling and rugby. He also captained the rowing, cycling and sailing teams. He gained practical centre management work experience during his school holidays at Motherwell Centre and he also had the opportunity to promote the Lawhill programme to scholars in the Motherwell community. In addition, Lutho spent time at Capital Land’s head office, based in Cape Town, where he has gained exposure to all areas of property and asset management.

Lutho matriculated at the end of 2019 and he was accepted to the 2020 Maersk Learnership Programme in Cape Town, a 12-month programme combining classroom based learning and practical work experience. As Lutho neared the end of the learnership, he was faced with the decision to apply for a full-time position at Maersk or another company, to apply for tertiary education, or to pursue his dream of a career in the superyachting industry.

In October 2020, Phil Wade, the founder of Marine Inspirations, invited Lutho to Palma, Spain. Phil had met Lutho while he was at Lawhill and had been following his journey. Within a month, Lutho had completed his STCW certifications and had passed all required medical examinations in order to start a career at sea.

The international travel restrictions imposed on South Africa as a result of COVID-19 presented a challenge in respect of flights and visa applications, and on the 27th of December 2020, Lutho finally departed from Cape Town to Palma.

Lutho spent his first few weeks in Palma as a casual employee while simultaneously applying for jobs with the hopes of being offered a permanent position onboard a yacht. After three weeks of working at the STP Shipyard, Lutho was offered a position on Mirage, a 53-metre motor yacht captained by Captain Colin Richardson, a past student of Simon’s Town High School.

We will continue to follow Lutho’s journey as he works towards his aspiration of becoming a Captain in the superyachting industry.

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