Staff at Imvelo Safari Lodges - some uplifting stories

Imvelo Safari Lodges • 29 January 2019

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Imvelo Safari Lodges, who own and operate Gorges Lodge (and Little Gorges), Zambezi Sands River Camp and a group of properties in Hwange National Park, have some heart-warming stories to share about some of their talented employees, who have grabbed every opportunity given to them and have really succeeded!

The smiles on the faces of our staff are genuine – they love nothing more than seeing happy guests leave our camps having experienced their homeland, , say the folks from Imvelo.

Here we share two of these delightful stories, from Gorges Lodge and Zambezi Sands:-

Pepsi Tshuma & Beatrice Nyoni - Gorges Lodge

Cousins Pepsi and Beatrice started work at Gorges on the same day back in 1997 and have worked their way up the ladder until they became established members of the management team. Both ladies grew up in the nearby Chisuma community and took their first jobs in the laundry at Gorges. Two years later they both were made bedroom hands; in 2000 Beatrice was promoted into stores while in 2001 Pepsi started training in reception. Within two years Pepsi was an assistant manager, later to be joined once again by her cousin Beatrice, to whom she could now show the ropes in the lodge front-of-house. These two ladies are the only women in the community to have progressed so far in hospitality and they are shining examples to other aspiring young women, showing that cultural barriers can be breached and careers built with consistent hard work.

Busani Moyo - Zambezi Sands River Camp

Busani joined Imvelo as a trainee bedroom hand in 2015 and soon asked if he might join the kitchen on a volunteer basis to learn how to cook. He offered to complete his daily housekeeping duties first and help in the kitchen in the evenings. For three months he worked voluntarily from 17:00 through to 22:00 each day, starting with the basics, cleaning and chopping vegetables.

One day Chef Frank presented guests with a beef Wellington, truly one of the best meals ever. When the chef was called to compliment him, Frank explained that Busani had cooked the meal. A few weeks later a berry panacotta was placed on the table, which was simply delicious! Again Frank said Busani had prepared the desert.

The following day Busani was told he no longer had a job in housekeeping, but if he wished there was a place for him in the kitchen. He has been in the Zambezi Sands kitchen for two years now, putting every bit of effort he can muster into his cooking. He has never eaten in a formal restaurant, and yet he is producing western style food which wins compliments from the most travelled guests. He is a true example of how hard work and determination can take you to places many only dream about.


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