“It always seems impossible until it’s done”- Nelson Mandela.
When you’re a teenager and almost at the end of high school, choosing a career to pursue can be a difficult and confusing decision. When 19-year old, Sange Loliwe entered a guidance counsellor’s office to discuss his options of enrolling into an Architecture course, the last thing he expected was the idea of joining the hospitality industry to be suggested to him due to his love for people.
Taking the leap, Loliwe confidently applied to Stenden South Africa, and was readily accepted into the Hospitality Management course as a full-time student. This was just the start of big things for Loliwe, not only did he choose the right profession and thrive to the full extent, but because of his hard work, he reaped the sweetest of rewards.
Because of Loliwe’s passion to work with people and team work skills, he received an award for the Best Leadership shown on campus which gave way to him setting off on a one-week trip to St Helena Island where he got to experience how the various hotels operate, interact with the locals, learn an incredible amount about the different cultures and of course, have a fabulous time in his new environment.
Weeks passed, and the 14th of April finally arrived. Boarding the aircraft, Loliwe flew off into a brand new adventure, awaiting him on a remote, tropical Island, located in the South Atlantic Ocean. The week was sponsored by SA Airlink and Mantis Collection, to which he is very grateful!
Arriving at his beautiful destination, he immediately began having the utmost fun. One of the activities was a meet and greet organised by the hotel, where local youngsters were invited to the event to discuss their lives, hobbies and passion for the hospitality industry.
According to Loliwe, there are a few differences between St Helena and South Africa, such as when supplies run out, the hotels must wait for their order to arrive a few days later by plane, whereas in South Africa, the delivery systems are much faster.
Although there may be a slight contrast between the two, hotels situated on St Helena Island, hold the same goal as the South African hospitality industry, which is to give their guests the best experience possible.
When asked what advice he would give to current and future students, he smiled and said “Do what you’re passionate about and try to find every opportunity that you can. Make sure you follow through because that’s where you gain experience”.
Loliwe returned to South Africa on the 22nd April 2018 and hopes that China will be his next travel destination, but not before showing his peers what he learnt on the island and how it could be implemented into their daily lives.