Text: Ranger Pieter van Wyk
Percy Khoza is a great example of how, in the words of Nelson Mandela, something always seems impossible until it is done. Percy started working at MalaMala in May 2013, with no experience. But, she has since grown in leaps and bounds. Percy was recently promoted to a full-time receptionist and we are extremely proud of her.
Percy’s brief account of her journey:
I first joined MalaMala as a waitress with no experience. During my training period, I spent time in the back-room areas learning the basics of working in the hospitality industry. I was later moved to guests facing areas where I worked as a waitress.
When the camp was not too busy, I requested to be trained as a junior cook and thought that I could maybe become a chef one day. It was wonderful learning all the skills of preparing guest meals but my heart was now longing to interact with guests. I again moved back to my position as waitress.
During my second round as waitress, the company made some changes that resulted in waitresses spending more time with guests during meals as hosts. This was the moment that propelled me to my destiny. During this time, my passion for guests grew even bigger. I would often get positive feedback from guests and management commended me for the hard work. All in all, I enjoyed working as a waitress; the positive feedback from guests and the constant praise from management kept me on my toes. I became confident and was now looking for a platform where I would interact more with guests, not only during meal times.
I wondered how it would feel if I became first person to say “Welcome to MalaMala.” to arriving guests.
As luck would have it a receptionist vacancy was advertised. I thought to myself that this could be the platform I was looking for. A platform that would put me at the forefront. The major stumbling block was that I did not have any experience as a receptionist. But I quickly realised that the experience I gained working as a waitress would certainly stand me in good stead.
I applied for the post and I was given an opportunity to try my luck. The training was challenging but because I was surrounded by good friends and managers who encouraged me to work harder, I succeeded. I’m not claiming to have mastered the art, but I can say that I’m confident and enjoying every moment. Nothing gives me greater joy than welcoming guests to MalaMala. It is my passion.