The group has been involved with a number of initiatives, from supporting schools to animal sanctuaries to being involved with the Tourism Enterprise Partnership which provides a unique and practical mentorship programme for tourism small business executives and most recently, a hospitality bursary fund – in conjunction with Durban University of Technology’s Hospitality Division.
The results from this bursary fund have seen two students; Cyril Mkhonde and Yonela Mbelu gain a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry since their appointment.
Yonela Mbelu from Davenport, Durban recently joined the programme in July based at the Tropicana Hotel. Mbelu enjoyed interacting and working with people from a young age and once he completed his schooling at the George Campbell School of Technology, together with his family, he did various part time hospitality-type jobs in order to save up funds to apply at the DUT hospitality division. Through hard work, commitment and dedication, Mbelu says, “I thank the Gooderson Group for giving me this opportunity, for not only paying for my education and providing me with the practical knowledge, but in my eyes, helping me to fast track my dream of becoming a GM and I am eternally grateful.”
Mbelu when not studying enjoys R&B music, reading local newspapers, spending quality time with his family and is a big fan of the Sharks rugby team.
The other candidate in the programme, Cyril Mkhonde, also from Durban, is no stranger to being surrounded by people, having come from a family of six siblings. Due to the fact that he is always willing to help people and set an example for his brothers and sisters, he knew he had the knack for this industry.
However, his love of hospitality was born from when he attended Sithengile Senior Secondary School in Claremont, where he received three subject exemptions, one of them being for tourism and the other two for Life Orientation and Business Studies respectively.
Once again, through hard work, the love for the industry, meeting new people and learning more about different cultures, diversity and making a difference in people’s lives, he decided that he wanted to have his own hotel one day.
When Mkhonde is not surrounded by people and not doing his in service training at the Natal Spa Hot Springs & Leisure Resort in Paulpietersburg – he reads, or sketches as well as catch every Manchester United game when he can.
Both Mbelu and Mkhonde were awarded the opportunity of experiencing an International Hospitality College Programme at the Walt Disney World Parks & Resort in Florida, United States of America. This stands them in good stead of having some international experience on their CV and can only add value to their skills that are currently being fine-tuned, allowing them to gain the necessary skills to become future GM’s within the Gooderson Leisure Group.
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