London-based serial entrepreneur, start-up aficionado, big creative thinker and philanthropist, Ronald Ndoro and Rahim Rawjee, the man behind the Row-G brand and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week judge, will together bring a unique African vision to life when opening the QSL Members Club in Johannesburg later this year.
Ndoro created Apartment 58 - a unique private members club for London’s elite that quickly became the meeting space for captains of industry, top businessmen, celebrities and creative influencers - and Library, situated in the heart of London’s Covent Garden - one of the UK’s most coveted private members institutions.
In spearheading private members clubs, Ndoro has had the opportunity to work with global celebrities and ally himself with some of the top performers in the entertainment industry.
Although Ndoro planned to open a new private members club in Hell's Kitchen, New York in 2016, fate had him travelling to South Africa where he met Rawjee and paid the existing QSL space a visit - seeing the potential the space held, it was this encounter that led to the inevitable opening of QSL SA.
In Africa for Africa
Ndoro's vision for the QSL Members Club was different to that of the other clubs. He wanted to create a club in Africa for Africa, something more than just a space but a hub for meetings and agents of change, a place where progressive thinkers and idea generators could meet, conceptualise the future of Africa and the world, and transform it.
Ndoro tells us more.
You’ve opened a number of private members clubs. What is the appeal of a private members club and what was your aim in opening them?
Our world is more complex than ever before with technology accelerating everything we do. While the benefits are clear, it is more difficult to be close to the people that really matter the most, to forge the meaningful, lasting relationships and partnerships that we need to enrich our lives. Members clubs provide a space for meaningful engagement, it's all about fostering creativity and collaboration among like-minded people
Why open one in SA?
Africa’s time is now. Johannesburg is a metropolis and deserving to be part of the global scene. There are clubs across London, Paris, NY, LA, Berlin, Rio, Bahrain, Nairobi, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Auckland, Sydney of whom QSL SA has a partnership. The question I’m currently working on is: why not open in SA?
What will differentiate the private members club you are opening in SA?
Being set in an African context – it will champion all things Africa. QSL SA will be an incubator for Africa’s leading lights, an organic platform for ideas to be birthed, connections to be forged and for plans to be set in motion. Driven by an atmosphere of collaboration, it is the ideal space for great minds to uplift, enhance and create.
QSL is no ordinary members club, it’s about growing the space to become a hub for creative thinking, strategic meetings and visionary idea generation. It is also a place to meet old friends and make new connections and is an environment for agents of change to congregate and conceptualise forward-thinking initiatives. The idea is so much more than the bricks and mortar of the space. The African continent is brimming with potential and, at QSL, we want to use this great vision to help raise Africa to her greatness and full potential by connecting great African minds.
Who is it for?
We are building a club for innovators and instigators from diverse backgrounds. It is the new home for those who want to move our world forward: leaders, artists, ecologists, philanthropists, makers, thinkers, dreamers and doers
Tell us about working with Rahim Rawjee?
Rahim’s attention to detail is second to none and that, for someone seeking perfection, is the greatest trait you could wish for. Bringing our different areas of expertise together will mean a refined product in QSL SA
What is your vision for the QSL Private Members Club?
We have the ambition to be the best world-class members club and lifestyle service looking after our members around the world. QSL SA is a home away from home with the familiar charm of a pied-à-terre. This getaway could be a luxurious retreat or a robust engine room, a glamorous hangout or a quiet workspace, a friend’s apartment or an atmospheric late night party - the perfect environment for members to connect, conceptualise and create.
We need to open QSL SA this October and then in 2019 open a boutique hotel in Antigua. There are so many projects and so little time…
Once the space is complete
Once finished, the space will boast world-class features including dining on dishes created by Michelin Star Chef, Daniel Galmiche in his auspicious new South African restaurant on the premises. It will also include:
• 24-hour reception and concierge • 32 luxurious bedrooms • Main lounge with a stage, exclusive bar, champagne bar and plunge pool • Restaurant with a private dining room • Kitchen and chef’s table • Cinema and screening room • Boardroom with conference facilities • Meeting and workspaces • Secondary lounge and kitchen with a rooftop bar • Artisanal retail and made-to-measure tailor service • Whiskey and cigar lounge and a smoking terrace • Mail grooming and made-to-measure tailor services • Spa, massage and beauty treatment room • Gym, lockers and showers • Complimentary Wi-Fi
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