Since working at Londolozi for two years now I have come to admire the upliftment culture they instil in us. No matter which department you work in, we are all encouraged to learn more in order to better our future selves. I would like to introduce you to Raen, as he is a an example of just that.
Raen Sibiya arrived at Londolozi in 2021 as a YES intern. The YES, Youth Employment Service, Programme is a business-led collaboration with the government. The YES program aims to reduce the unemployment rates amongst the South African youth. Through the program participants will develop new skills and gain meaningful workplace experience, which will in turn significantly improve their chances of finding long-term employment. Londolozi takes part in this program each year trying to teach new skills to about 15-20 unemployed young South Africans and hopefully helping them with finding permanent income in the future.
Raen was one of these participants in the programme, the only difference being his infectious personality that made him stand out. Once completing the YES programme participants are able to go out and find meaningful work for themselves. Raen however found that this work may just be at Londolozi. His hard work and positive attitude throughout his year as a YES intern made him a perfect example of a Londolozi employee.
So he moved from an intern to a permanent staff member and joined the Londolozi family as a Night Porter. If you have ever stayed with us at Londolozi you will know that the night porters are an essential part of looking after our guests. Their job is to meet the guests after their afternoon game drive and escort them safely to their room and to dinner. Raen, straight off the bat, made a big impression on the camp staff as well as the guests. Guests found that his witty chatter would make for the most enjoyable 3 minute walk to your room. He is someone who is always happy to see you, excited to hear about your day and honestly wants everyone to have the best safari experience.
Raen’s dream wasn’t over. Now that he had excelled at being a Night Porter he couldn’t help but think ‘what’s next’? For him the next goal would be to become a qualified butler at one of our five camps. This is not an easy undertaking as it requires a ton of extra work, but luckily for Raen hard work isn’t something he shies away from. For almost 6 months Raen worked every evening as a Night Porter as well as every day he would train as a butler. Shadowing the butlers, completing courses online in Londolozi’s onsite Learning Centre, and putting in any extra work he could in order to reach his goal.
Hard work pays off as the saying goes and Raen is now a fully qualified butler at Varty Camp. His big smile is something that he never forgets at home and his friendliness and helpfulness is abundant. He has not lost his wonderful sense of humour and his lighthearted nature has rubbed off on the already incredible butler team at Varty Camp.
Raen is just one example of the kind of positive upliftment that Londolozi strives to provide to the neighbouring communities. He is someone who already had the drive and determination to better his life and all he needed was a little help.