Celebrating our Curiocity ladies on National Women’s Day

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Can we get a raise of hands for the ladies in the house? Today marks National Women’s Day which is a public holiday representing women’s courage and strength in South Africa.

To give you a little background, the day commemorates the national march of women which happened on this day back in 1956. Around 20,000 women took to the streets in Pretoria to petition against discriminatory legislation requiring the black majority and people of colour to carry the ‘pass’. The ‘pass’ was an identification document used to restrict freedom of movement under apartheid.

They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at the prime minister’s office door, stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes and then sang a protest song composed for the occasion called Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.).

Over 50 years later, South Africa has come a long way (although there’s still a lot of work to be done) and here at Curiocity, we are proudly powered by some seriously strong African ladies. To celebrate National Women’s Day, we’ve been chatting with a few of them about their biggest inspirations, advice for females thinking about heading to South Africa and what it’s like working at Curiocity…

Megan – General Manager, Curiocity Durban

What is the most rewarding part of working at Curiocity?
For me, it would have to be the smile on a guest’s face and their excitement after we’ve sat together working out the best route and must-see things to do when exploring South Africa. It’s totally priceless! 

What does your role as Manager at Curio Durban entail and what’s your favourite part about it?

In my role, I oversee everything in order to keep running a smooth sailing ship and ensure our guests are happy, well cared for and receiving the service they should be. My favourite part is that I get to tell people what to do (just joking!) –  I think it has to be the coffee I get in the morning from our guy behind the bar.

What would be your main advice for young women trying to enter the tourism industry?

Wow! I would say be all that you can be and be great at it. Work your way up and invest in continuous self-development. Don’t be afraid of big challenges – instead, put your hand up to any small task and from that you will be surprised at just how much you learn.

Which woman inspires you the most?

At the start of my career at the age of 18, I had an amazing, strong lady as a boss called Monika Moser. I worked with her for 13 years and she took me under her wing and taught me a lot about business, customer care and being the best in the field – up to this very day, I still reflect on my junior days with her.

Name your dream destination

Within Africa, I would say it would be Morrocco, Botswana and Victoria Falls. Internationally, my dream destination is definitely Hawaii.

Advice for ladies travelling in South Africa?

On National Women’s Day I would say, put your big girl panties on and make the trip happen!

What are the must-see places in Durban?

During your time here, you have to head to the Traditional Healers Market in the city. A trip to Durban isn’t complete without heading to the beach so I would also recommend taking a walk along the Golden Mile.

Robynne – General Manager, Curiocity Joburg

What is the most rewarding part of working at Curiocity?
The most rewarding part is engaging with people from across the world and hearing their travel stories.

What is the main stereotype of ‘travel in South Africa’ that you hope to change at Curiocity?
I think the safety aspect is one of our main challenges and it’s one we are working really hard to diminish by taking people out on our tours to experience life within the different cities which gives them historical, cultural and environmental context. We show people what it’s really like so they can leave here with their own perceptions of our cities rather than stories they hear about us.

What would be your main advice for young women trying to enter the tourism industry?
Tourism is an ever-growing industry with a lot of opportunities for self-growth. It can be tiring but it’s very rewarding for those filled with passion for change.

Which woman inspires you the most?
Definitely my mom! She’s always paid attention to detail, been hospitable to people and is the most nurturing woman I know. Those are qualities I aspire to.

Name your dream destination.
Any coastal region as I really enjoy snorkelling and marine life.

What are the must-see places in South Africa?
Obviously, you have to stay at Curiocity… I would also recommend heading to the Kruger National Park and if you have time, exploring the rural lands of the Eastern Cape.

Zama – General Manager, 12 Decades Hotel

What is the most rewarding part of working at Curiocity? 
Definitely meeting new people and sharing their experiences. I’m a people’s person so anytime I can be part of their ‘happiness’ or are able to make it easier for them to travel, I am happy!

What would be your main advice for young women trying to enter the tourism industry?
Energy and genuine love for what you want to do. It is a tough industry to break into and requires a whole lot of yourself (personality-wise) and a whole lot of your personal time too but if you persevere there are many rewards to reap from it all. The little change you bring into someone’s life is worth it.

Which woman inspires you the most?
My late grandmother was my biggest inspiration and still is. She single-handedly raised 3 generations of her family as well as her husband’s family whilst being the breadwinner for more than three families. She was so driven to achieve the goals she set for herself and resilient regardless of any hardships that came her way.

Advice for ladies travelling in South Africa?
Explore more than what you have set for yourself – there’s so much to see so don’t put limits on what you can do! I would also advise taking the normal safety precautions and stay safe but always remember that while we may live in a man’s world, what some don’t know is that us ladies run it…

What are the must-see places in South Africa? 

Geewiz, there is so much! Firstly, I would say Soweto for all it has to offer – and not just the tourist spots. Victoria Yards is also a really cool spot in Joburg. Outside of Joburg, head to The Drakensberg for beautiful views and mountain hiking and Port Elizabeth if you’re heading along the Garden Route.

Heading to South Africa soon and want to explore the cities with those who know it best? We’ve got a limited time special offer for National Women’s Day on our female dorms so book via our site with the code WOMENSDAY to get 30% off.