Careers: become a tourism director

By Drum Digital
14 July 2010

NO ONE is more passionate about Cape Town than Nombulelo Mfeka. In her eyes, it can hold its own against any city in the world, which is important because Nombulelo is the Mother City’s tourism director.

As head of the city’s tourism department, it’s her job to make sure that international and South African travellers want to visit the city, and that they have a good time while they’re here.

While many people would find this task daunting, Nombulelo, who lives in Ottery, finds it an exciting challenge. “I love my city and I want tourists – and Capetonians – to share my passion.”

Since 1999 Nombulelo has worked for the department of tourism, first as a manager and then as director.

“My job is to make sure that tourism to Cape Town grows and that visitors have a positive experience when they’re here,” says Nombulelo, who is on the boards of District Six and the Cape Town Festival.

It’s a very wide brief. “Anything that is related to tourism in Cape Town has to be approved by me,” she says.

In a typical working day she attends many meetings, not only with the managers in her tourism department to see that things are running smoothly, but also with external stakeholders who want to invest in the city.

Nombulelo reports to the executive director and keeps him informed so he can do his job.

As a teenager Nombulelo was quite outspoken and she took a while to find her niche in life. In the 1970s she was in the thick of political unrest but she outgrew her rebellious ways and turned her life around. “I know I’m where I’m supposed to be,” she says.

She’s determined to make Cape Town a great place not only to visit but to live too.

Read more in the Drum of 22 July 2010

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