A RAPID-FIRE CATCH-UP with Khunji Sebeta Luxury Safaris and PG Tops.
Not only is Khunji one of the most important people in our office in her role as ‘control tower’ (aka the person he keeps us in line and makes sure things flow smoothly), but she is also one of the most important alumni of the Tourism Boot Camp (TBC) initiative. We identified a while ago that there was a huge demand for skilled workers in the growing tourism industry. The problem was, there’s been no springboard into the industry for unemployed youth. How do you learn to take bookings if you’ve never been taught to take bookings? How do you develop an itinerary? Or, deal with customers? Or, recommend a destination or experience when you do not know it yourself? Combining both theory and practice, TBC gives young, ambitious tourism industry hopefuls the basics so that they are well equipped to be placed with an industry partner either on full or contract employment.
From our first TBC intake in 2017, Khunji was one of the stars. In fact she was so good, we decided to call first dibs on her and employ her at PG Tops/Luxury Safaris. Here’s a little more on what makes Miss Sebeta tick.
Where are you from originally?
Kwanokuthula, Plettenberg bay, on the Garden Route of South Africa.
Do you think growing up in a tourist town like Plett meant you were set for a career in tourism?
Yes. As I was working at touristy restaurants on school holidays I had more time to socialize with tourists. I fell in love with tourism and saw myself going very far in this field.
What had you been up to before Tourism Boot Camp (TBC)?
I worked as a telemarketer, selling expensive pots.
How did you hear about TBC?
Did your tourism courses at South Cape TVET College and at the Plett Tourism Office prepare you for what you learned at TBC or was it a completely different challenge?
I would say TBC was a completely different challenge, because I didn’t have a fundamental knowledge of Cape Town and what this city has to offer. Obviously I knew some places, but I was unsure of how I would put a package together for a prospective client. That’s why I signed up for TBC.
How did you find the course? What were the hardest parts and what did you find came naturally to you?
The course was very interesting. The hardest part was when I was asked if I knew a place or area and didn’t have a clue about it. Understanding the course work and tours came naturally. As mentioned, not knowing Cape Town was a challenge, but it didn’t affect me that much because I learnt to pay attention in order to have a better understanding of what I was being prepared for.
Describe your initial role at PG Tops?
I work as control tower- I am like the police lady of the company. I am responsible for making cash floats for tour guides, handling the petty cash, updating client’s profiles on our schedule and consulting.
What’s the toughest thing about your job?
My job requires a lot of attention to detail and reading, I find it very difficult to concentrate for long hours.
What are the best bits about your job?
Being in control!
What do you do when you’re not kicking ass at work? How do you relax?
I listen to soothing music, drink at least a glass of wine and sleep.
What are some of the biggest tourism misconceptions about South Africa?
People from other countries think that we still live in bushes and that our African animals are roaming around in the streets but that is not true.
What in your opinion are some of the most underrated destinations/experiences in Southern Africa?
The Eastern Cape. This area is extremely beautiful but is often overlooked as a final choice for a travel destination. There is so much to do in the Eastern Cape from adventure tourism, to the national parks and scenic landscapes as well as beautiful hidden beaches. Look at places like St Francis Bay – people always come back fascinated by the beauty of this small, hidden town. The list goes on. We need to read more and use the Internet to help us learn more about the beauty of places like the Eastern Cape.
What are your three favorite places in South Africa?
Durban, I like the Nguni Zulu language it is much more romantic then Xhosa.
Cape Town for its beautiful scenery and vibrant people.
Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route- my home and comfort zone!
What global destinations would you like to visit?
East Africa – Tanzania, Kenya & Nairobi – I’d love to visit these countries for a foodie tour. I love African cuisine. London- I want to do visit Stonehenge and do a day trip to Bath.
What’s your favorite view and your sundowner of choice?
Signal Hill & the Jam Jar cocktail from Primi Piatti in Camps Bay.