5 minutes with Radisson Blu’s Nokwazi Mlambo
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The front office manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, Port Elizabeth Nokwazi Mlambo, is all for female empowerment.
She chats to Clinton Moodley about her job, her dream destination and her biggest achievement.
How did you enter this profession?
To be honest, this was not part of the plan. I studied cost and management at university but did not enjoy it. I felt demotivated.
As the first child in my family to go to university, there was also pressure on me to succeed. I then noticed the hotel students.
They seemed to carry themselves differently; they were confident and happy. There were many opportunities in the hospitality sector at the time, so I registered for a new course in my second year.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Describe a typical day for you?
I will give you two words: it’s chaotic and exciting. I have a long to-do list and prioritise accordingly. Guests come first.
I start most days by diarising all my duties, room allocations, scheduled check-ins.
We also ensure that we implement constant training for health and safety along with other training requirements.
I also welcome guests, manage a team and organise rosters. It’s all very instantaneous, but I love it.
What has been your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement is being the head of department as I enjoy managing a team.
I want to inspire, guide, train and teach them. I am proud of this responsibility and it is something that I do not take lightly.
How do you unwind after a long day?
I am a serious homebody. I love being indoors. A good day would be cuddled up in front of the TV accompanied by a good series and a packet of chips.
Let's shift gears to your travels. What is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Would you believe that I have never been on an international holiday?
Many people assume that if you work in hospitality that you have travelled the world.
That is not the case. I would love to go to Thailand as I would want to experience the culture, food and people.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
My next goal would be to be an Assistant General Manager followed by a General Manager.
For now, I am happy to spend the time learning from the strong female leaders within the Radisson Group.
What is your advice for people wanting to get into a career in the tourism industry, especially during the pandemic?
Hospitality needs to be your passion.
You need to love people and work long days if need be.
I think this pandemic has reminded us that life is short. Do what you are passionate about and what makes you happy.