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Women who make tourism work: Meet Manoko Nong, The Maslow’s maintenance co-ordinator

Nong joined the four-star luxury business and leisure hotel in Sandton in 2012 in the housekeeping department as a room attendant. Picture: Supplied

Nong joined the four-star luxury business and leisure hotel in Sandton in 2012 in the housekeeping department as a room attendant. Picture: Supplied

Published Aug 1, 2022

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Keeping her own house in order is a task that Manoko Nong enjoys, so it comes as no surprise that she enjoys her job keeping The Maslow Sandton shipshape as maintenance co-ordinator.

Nong joined the four-star luxury business and leisure hotel in Sandton in 2012 in the housekeeping department as a room attendant and was moved to the maintenance department in 2018.

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She described the promotion as “life-changing” and revealed that her mentor at the hotel was the maintenance manager, Wilson Bantwini.

Bantwini trained her in all the duties and responsibilities of a maintenance co-ordinator. “I admired his leadership style and gathered the courage to tell him I would like to learn from him,” said Nong.

She revealed that when a maintenance co-ordinator position became available, she applied and got the job.

“Wilson pushed me and that gave me the encouragement to strive for excellence even when I did not have the confidence, and I am very grateful for the step I took,’’ said Nong.

Nong’s daily tasks at The Maslow Sandton include capturing of Kronos, sending reports to different service providers, ensuring that all the services monthly, biannually and annually are scheduled and completed.

“I am also fulfilling functions of a safety, health and environmental (SHE) co-ordinator – looking after health and safety data – and would like to progress to a SHE officer in due course.”

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Nong said that the maintenance department appealed to her because the work produces visible results. “If someone reports a dead light bulb, my team is responsible to replace it, and once the job is done there is evidence,” she said.

As a woman in the industry, her leadership style is in tune with her femininity. “My approach with the team is not abrupt, I treat people with respect and it makes my job easy. In our team we are a family, we are able to talk freely and are relatable.”

The Maslow has outlined its goal to reduce its environmental impact. Nong helps to monitor monthly emissions as well as petrol, diesel, electricity and water usage. “We aim to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce electricity and water use. We are on track to meet Sun International’s group objective of zero waste to landfill by 2025.”

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Although she describes herself as a shy person, Nong is a straight talker who is considerate of others. “My 4-year-old daughter is the love of my life, I named her after my late sister, and I see her love shine through her every day and that gives me joy,” she said.

In her spare time, she enjoys binge watching Investigation Discovery and staying on top of tasks like ironing and laundry around the house.

Her advice to other women this Women’s Month is: “Always have faith in yourself, because the harder it gets only means you are getting closer to your goals. Lastly, don’t get too comfortable, because nothing good comes out of that.”

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