Carnival City, Afrisun Trust sponsors East Rand youth

Like Marco Polo centuries ago, three young Ekurhuleni women undertook epic journeys of the world and arrived back brimming over with tales of wonder to tell at a celebration thrown in their honour by Carnival City and the Afrisun East Rand Community Trust (AERCT) on 2 July.

In 2008 the AERCT awarded 10 local girls with a two-year bursary in Somatology (Beauty Therapy) and Hairdressing.  Little could anyone have known at that time that the course of their lives would change so much and the world would become their Oyster.

After graduating Nokathula ‘Thuli’ Tshabangu from Kwa Thema, Nombuso Mncube from Tsakane and Duduzile Ngwenya from Brakpan were offered the opportunity to work for the leading global spa brand Steiner aboard their international cruise ships. For all three girls the experience expanded their minds and opened their eyes to new worlds, new cultures and new possibilities.

Duduzile, who toured the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Caribbean, Key West, Jacksonville and Croatia, “We worked closely with people from all over the world.  I learnt so much about other cultures and food.  The hours were long but the experience is one I will never forget and no one can remove it from my mind.”  She is not certain about her future plans but hopes to have her own beauty spa which she would like to use to “pay back” to young, orphaned women.

For Nombuso the time away taught her about many things she had never before considered such as time zones, weather conditions, dress codes, food and different cultures. She has visited Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Malta, Greece, Miami, Florida, Haiti, Jamaica, Grand Turk and Cayman Islands, St Thomas, St Martin, St Croix, Puerto Rico and the Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.

“I learnt that when you work with people you have to be patient, humble, respectful and trustworthy and it’s not just about rendering a service but also about building a relationship with your clients.” Nombuso intends returning to the ships and plans to save the money she makes there to open her own business in the future.

For Thuli, her nine-month adventure took her to Hawaii, Turkey, Greece, France, Brazil, China, India, Vietnam, America, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Dubai, Israel, Egypt, Croatia, Barcelona, Costa Rica, Colombia, the Amazon and Singapore. She said of her trip “I would like to thank the Afrisun Trust and Carnival City for the wonderful experience they gave me.

I would never have been able to afford to go to any of these places on my own. All the countries I visited are special and beautiful in their own way.  I learnt a lot about people’s cultures, food and lifestyles.  I also made sure I ate in every country and this is visible by my weight gain and the comments from all at home!

“The experience has changed me in a good way.  I have matured and now understand and appreciate where I come from.  I have learnt how to communicate with people, the way you should stand, speak and address people.  I also learnt you should always take your job seriously.”

Thuli has just learnt that from July she will be working aboard a bigger ship, the six-star Crystal Cruise.

Author: Muzi Mohale

Hi there, am your host and I blog about the tourism industry in South Africa. You’re also welcome to contribute your expert content on matters affecting the industry. You can reach me on muzi[at]tourismedition.com

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