Tshepo Maleka joined Bateleur in August as a research assistant following a casual conversation with the managing director of Bateleur, Gordon Hooper.
Working as a marshal through Federal Package Management at Fourways Mall, Maleka met Hooper by chance. “While paying for parking, Gordon started talking to me. The more we spoke, he started asking about my situation and job satisfaction. Before being retrenched, I previously worked as a passenger handling agent at OR Tambo International Airport.
“While working there, I gained experience across all areas of passenger handling and rap work, check-ins, data handling and ramp work. I had struggled to secure another job even with all my previous work experience and qualifications. Sadly, when the pandemic sent the country into a hard lockdown, I had to stay at home and often did work on the side as a gardener,” shared Maleka.
Before going to university, Maleka worked at a construction company where he completed a short course in earthworks and civils part-time. When his dream to study law could not be realised due to finances, Maleka acquired a national diploma in tourism management at the University of Johannesburg. In his second year, he managed to get a bursary from the School of Tourism and Hospitality (STH).
Maleka expressed: “Meeting Gordon and having the incidental conversation resulted in a job interview the very next day. Soon after I was hired. The opportunity I have at Bateleur is life-changing, and I am so excited to learn and grow in this company. Gordon’s actions are encouraging, and I would like to pay it forward and change the lives of others as he did for me. Our country needs more leaders like Gordon. He empowers, he is selfless, and he is generous. I am forever grateful.”
Hooper saw a talented man who had invested in his future, working hard and studying to further his ambitions. “I recognised Tshepo’s potential for greater things. He is a genuine, educated and humble person who is capable of going far in life. I’m confident that he will add value to our team,” added Hooper.