Today, August 9th, is National Women’s Day in South Africa and is declared a public holiday. Today is the day we commemorate the 1956 march held by women to petition against an ancient apartheid law that required all persons of colour to carry a ‘pass’. This pass was cruelly and unfairly given to non-whites to restrict their freedom of movement and was forced upon certain sectors of society under the “Urban Areas Act”. Today, we celebrate the strong women of the world – those who stand up for their rights, have courage in their convictions, speak out against abuse, live their truth, share their maternal instincts, love their partners and family unconditionally, support communities, forge ahead with careers and provide pillars of matriarchal strength to younger generations. This is a day to honour of your place in the world.
Today we spend time with one of our leading women at nThambo Tree Camp – our head chef Melita. Let’s find out and what it means to be a strong, successful career woman that is also a matriarch of her family.
What is your role at nThambo Tree Camp and how long have you worked at the camp?
I am head chef and manage the staff in the kitchen (2 other ladies). Each day, I ensure that all the food is fully stocked and food preparation is done early in the morning. I then prepare and head up the meals. Sometimes I come up with new menu ideas. I have worked here since October 2014.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Cooking has been a passion since I was a young girl cooking for family at home. I love cooking a roast and a traditional braai. The food we cook here is very different to our traditional food at home; and its been a great challenge to learn new recipes.
What does it mean to be a successful, strong woman?
It means to have the power to be the best and keep growing. I want to empower my daughter. I am a single parent and would like to bring up my daughter as though she has both parents. At work I try make everything perfect in the kitchen each day and strive to keep the guests happy. We work well as a team, which makes this successful.
How often do you work?
I work similar shifts to game rangers and other people at camp. I work for 3 weeks then I take 1 week off.
Where do you stay and where are your “roots”?
I live at nThambo Tree Camp but home is in a place called Hluvukani, which is 2 – 3 hours from camp.
What languages do you speak?
Shangaan is my first language and English is my second.
How many children do you have?
I have 1 daughter aged 15, and I take care of 5 immediate family members at home. I see them when I am during my leave period. I don’t have a husband so it’s up to me to take care of everyone.
Do you help your community and support others that need your help?
I am putting away money and saving to put my daughter through tertiary education. Any food I buy or am given, I share with my immediate community. Sometimes I use my own money to buy food for others.
To all the women out there – the Sun Destinations team wishes you a happy National Women’s Day 2017!