Margaret Dlamini started her career in hospitality to support her family. Picture: Zanele Zulu/ African News Agency (ANA)

Margaret Dlamini never dreamed of being in the tourism industry; the 62-year-old stumbled upon it by chance. 

Dlamini, who is the housekeeping supervisor at Southern Sun Elangeni and Maharani hotel, started her career as a room attendant at the hotel at the age of 24. 

As the sole supporter of her family, she quit school in Grade 11 to work odd jobs to put food on the table for her siblings.

She slowly worked her way up - from being a linen room assistant to a supervisor to a switchboard operator for 10 years before assuming her current position. 

"A typical day for me is never the same. I usually liaise with the reception staff about the new guests, oversee the room cleaning schedule and tend to guests housekeeping needs," she says. 

Dlamini's passion for hospitality wakes her up every morning. 

"I know this sounds like a cliche, but the hotel is my home away from home. We are all like family.

"I try my best to make sure that all guests have the best possible experience. My need to make every guest's experience worthwhile drives me to grow in my job,” she says, enthusiastically. 

The mother of three still keeps the brown envelope that she got her first salary in as a reminder of how far she has come.

When she is not tending to guests, she loves spending quality time with her grandchildren and husband, Ephraim. 

When it is time to retire, Dlamini hopes to open a bed and breakfast and laundry business in Mayville, Durban. 

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