The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 Oct 2022
Ms Roselyn Kamumvuri from Zimbabwe (second best student) and Ms Kahimbi Kaingu from Zambia (best student) are on their way to Italy for three months.
“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.”
Quoting the famous American hotelier, Conrad Hilton, Ms Antonette Madi, a Namibian citizen and Chairperson of the Learner Committee of the Class of 2008 of the SACT in Graaff-Reinet, told her fellow learners and the audience that receiving their certificates was proof that they did not quit, they may have fallen down along the way sometimes, but they did not quit.
Ms Madi is one of 83 young, rural and unemployed women hailing from the ten continental member states of the Southern African Development Community, who had been trained at the College during the past year. These women graduated today with a Certificate in Small Accommodation Establishment Operations and four national skills development certificates in hospitality services conferred by the South Africa Tourism, Hospitality & Sport Education and Training Authority. Today’s ceremony was kindly sponsored by Absa, a major donor of the College.
Thanking those who have made their year-long sojourn at the College possible and afforded them the opportunity to take their first step into the tourism industry, thereby ensuring a brighter future for them and their families, Ms Madi singled out a number of individuals and entities: Mrs Gaynor Rupert, daughter in law of the founders of the College; the late Dr Anton and Mrs Huberte Rupert; the Rupert Family Foundations; Peace Parks Foundation; the Embassy of Finland; Absa; the DG Murray Trust; Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund; SA Breweries; Mercedes Benz South Africa; MB Technologies; Maskew Miller & Longman; and the many individual Adopt-a-Student sponsors. Ms Madi told them that not only had they enabled the graduates to soar like eagles in the years to come, but that they had also made a huge investment in the future of Africa.
According to Mr Werner Myburgh, Chief Executive Office of Peace Parks Foundation, the patron of the College, Ms Madi and her fellow graduates could look forward to joining an industry which is increasingly contributing to the economies of Southern Africa. Mr Myburgh, quoting from a speech delivered by the Minister of Tourism at the 7th Annual Tourism Conference on 3 November, pointed out that in South Africa alone, the contribution of the industry to the gross domestic product was estimated to have increased from R137.6 billion in 2006 to R159.6 billion in 2007, while 2008 boasts 5,495,904 foreign arrivals in the first seven months of the year, compared to 5.1 million in 2007. This is an increase of 7.8% year on year.
On top of this, these graduates will join the industry at one of the most exciting times in its history, namely the advent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The latter affords unrivalled opportunities for the sub-continent’s tourism industry. Not only those in the main urban centres stand to benefit, but also those in the rural areas, as large numbers of soccer enthusiasts are expected to also experience one of Southern Africa’s unique features: its transfrontier conservation areas or Peace Parks, whence most of the graduates originate.
Preceding Mrs Rupert’s handing over of the certificates to the graduates, Mr Jabu Mabuza, CEO of Tsogo Sun Group, Executive Chairman of Southern Sun Hotels and Chairman of South African Tourism, delivered the keynote address of the day. Dr Bayliss, Manager: Corporate Social Investment, who announced and handed the Absa Top Student Trophy to Ms Kahimbi Kaingu of Zambia, indicated that Absa’s continued support of the College will contribute towards biodiversity conservation. Dr. Bayliss further said that “the skills development interventions will improve the lives of rural communities, which will in turn help to foster the economic wellbeing of the entire region.”
The ceremony concluded with an exhilarating surprise for the top student, Ms Kahimbi Kaingu from Zambia and her runner up, Ms Roselyn Kamumvuri from Zimbabwe. Mrs Barbara Pudell of Geneva, Switzerland, who attended the ceremony with her friend, the Countess Rita Zanardi Landi from Italy, was joined at the podium by Dr Paul Bayliss in announcing that the two learners have won a full expenses paid working visit of three months to the exclusive guesthouse, Casa Montefino, of the Pudell family in Portofino, Italy. The prize also includes a three-week visit to other famous Italian tourist destinations.
For further information, please contact –
SA College for Tourism
Tel: +27 (0)49 892 2244
Mobile: +27 (0)82 783 7943
Jacqueline de Winnaar
Tel: +27 (0)11 350 4000
Mobile: +27 (0)82 555 6390
Financial Gazette Zimbabwe