August is Women’s month in South Africa and on 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day, to commemorate the 1956 march of approximately 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s discriminatory pass laws. It’s a period to celebrate the strength, unity, and leadership of women in Africa and the world.
Our CEO, Katja Quasdorf, worked her way up from a German intern to her position as an experienced young woman now running the company. Jenman African Safaris is incredibly proud of its diverse staff and multicultural office environment. To celebrate Women’s month we would like to introduce you to some of the Jenman women who come from various corners of Africa and now live and work in Cape Town for a company that is proudly dedicated to social responsibility.
You don’t have to look far to realize the incredible diversity represented in Jenman African Safari. Just ask some of the staff where they were born! For example, Olga was born in Krugersdorp, in the West of Johannesburg, South Africa, while Joy took her first steps in the “Musaga” region, in the city of Bujumbura, Burundi, while Ella, our Junior Product Developer, spent the first years of her life in Zomba, Malawi… We are already in three different countries for three people interviewed! By continuing the list in this way, we could almost create a cultural stay throughout Africa. However, it seemed more relevant to us to ask our wonderful collaborators to share with us some memories specific to their region and to tell us a little about their feelings about life in Cape Town.
Olga – Series Tour Coordinator
“I was born and raised in a small town called Krugersdorp West of Johannesburg, South Africa. Growing up I spoke multiple languages as I was surrounded by diverse cultures, people, and family. Growing up in Krugersdorp was great! There’s a lot to see and to do for a small town (even though I was indoors 90% of the time). Krugersdorp (Mogale City) is home to two of the five major tourist attractions of Gauteng, the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden and the Cradle of Humankind. With the famous Lion and Rhino Park also in the vicinity, these are some of my favourite places. Living in Cape Town is not bad as there is a lot to do and experience (even though I still prefer Johannesburg). Working for Jenman is great, I get to learn a lot, the staff are friendly and helpful, and the entire company is just wonderful. ”
Joy – Creditors Bookkeeper
“I was born in the area called “Musaga” in Bujumbura city and my home country is Burundi. My home language is “Kirundi” and my second language is French. What I love about my country is Burundian food as all the food is organic and fresh. I also love my culture, the traditional cloth, the traditional dancing and drumming which you can find only in Burundi. What I love about Cape Town is that it is a free country and I really enjoy the Jenman vibe.”
Babalwa – Junior Reservations and Product Developer
“I am from Cape Town and my home language is isiXhosa. AmaXhosa (The Xhosa) is the second largest cultural group in South Africa, after the Zulu speaking nation. Isixhosa (The Xhosa Language), of which are variations is part of the Nguni language group and one of the 11 official languages recognised by the South African Constitution. What I love about Cape Town is that it boasts a number of unique World Heritage sites and attractions such as Table Mountain National Park which is one of the 7 wonders of the world, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the most magnificent botanical gardens. What I love about living in Cape Town is how relaxed Capetonians are – cool calm and collected, completely different from the hustle and bustle lifestyle in Johannesburg.”
Ella – Junior Product Developer
“I was born and raised in a city in the southern part of Malawi called Zomba. We speak Chichewa which means ‘flames of fire’. The people are so warm and friendly hence the popular saying “Malawi the warm heart of Africa.” We have an amazing lake with fresh water called Lake Malawi. This lake is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa with 500-1000 different species of fish. Working at Jenman whilst in Cape Town has been an incredible experience for me as I have learnt about the beautiful places that Africa has to offer in the tourism industry. The tours that Jenman offers in Southern Africa, Madagascar as well as East Africa have opened my eyes to the most amazing destinations that I would never think of if I never worked here. I plan to work extra hard to save up so that I can get to visit some of these places.”
Nicole –Marketing Specialist
“I was born in a small town called Pietermaritzburg which is in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. I grew up in an English home. When I was younger I was looked after by a Zulu lady named Alice, and she and I would speak in Zulu to each other and she would cook me traditional African food. She and I were very close, she felt like my other mother. I loved living in a small town when I was younger with all my cousins close by. We would play in the nature reserve, build forts, swim in the river and steal sugar cane from the sugar cane farmer (he knew we did it), we would ride our bikes everywhere and see all of our friends. It was a great small town to grow up in. I love living in Cape Town because of the beauty of the city, the mountains, and the ocean. It’s always amazing to hear tourists talk about how they love it here, making you realise you lucky you really are to live here.”
“I was in born in Cape Town, raised in Hanover Park and I speak English & Afrikaans. I was not raised in the safest place but I always made the most of it enjoyed everything I could in my childhood regardless of the danger. I am currently living in Garden Village a small community that’s great, as everyone knows each other and we have a yearly get together called “Village Day” where kids can model, and fun rides & competitions for everyone to participate in. My reason for the love of my Mother City, Cape Town is its diversity of different cultures and practically having everything here. There are always different things to do or to go and have fun. e.g. we have Table Mountain, Robben Island and many beautiful things in this city that I wouldn’t think of relocating to another city. I love working at Jenman as its way different to the previous jobs I had before. I had never been this interested in tourism the way I am now. I may be in the workshop but I like doing research on the different departments at Jenman.”