Maxwell Magodla, the new general manager at Bantry Bay Suite Hotel has always been an ambitious person. Born and raised in Gugulethu, Cape Town, Magodla describes himself as innovative and driven. After completing a hotel management diploma at Intec College, Magodla went on to work at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), The President Hotel and Bantry Bay Suite Hotel.
According to Magodla, the best choice he has made was becoming a mentor to his younger fellow colleagues: "It brings me joy to see people I have mentored, prosper and achieve their dreams, I too was them once upon a time..."
We caught up with Magodla for Youth Month to find out more about the valuable lessons he has learnt from his own mentors and what he would like to impart on his mentees...
You like to mentor younger fellow colleagues in the industry. Did you have a mentor or someone you looked up to and why?
I had the opportunity of working with different leadership throughout my career. I was very fortunate that later in my career Frank Gormley took an interest in my growth. Frank Gormley is my mentor. I also look up to Jeremey Clayton, the general manager of the President Hotel - what he is achieving at the President Hotel it is a great inspiration for me.
What is the most valuable lesson you learned from this person?
Frank Gormley: Creating an opportunity for growth of others.
The hospitality industry is the face of the country to the world and needs people that are excited to welcome all walks of life to their country.
What are some of the biggest lessons you would like to teach your mentees?
• Take every opportunity as a diamond, make use of it to the fullest.
• Count every challenge or problem as an opportunity to come up with a new solution. Problems are meant to grow you.
• Value all the members of your team – teamwork is the key.
• Being lazy should be a big no in your life – it will take you nowhere.
• Be honest, be eager to learn, love what you do, be passionate, have respect for everyone and be authentic.
What are your thoughts on youth participation in the industry?
It needs to be emphasised that the hospitality industry is the face of the country to the world and needs people that are excited to welcome all walks of life to their country. It is one industry that can help the youth in their interpersonal skills, as the industry is made up of people from all backgrounds.
What are your plans for the future?
• To further learn about hotel business management and tourism business management at large.
• My dream is to own my own hotel and be involved in directing hotels.
• Giving back to the upcoming generation in the hospitality industry and sharing with them the skills I have and still am learning in my career.
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