B&B rises like the Phoenix

2016-04-14 06:00
 Lungi Pango

Lungi Pango

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The Thebe Tourism Group has sponsored Lungi’s B&B in Khayelitsha to the tune of R50 000 for development.

The B&B was opened by former domestic worker Nomalungelo “Lungi” Pango in February 2010, but was sadly devastated by a shack fire in 2014 before being rebuilt and reopening in September 2015.

Thebe Tourism Group general manager, Brett Hendricks, announced the donation after being made aware of this inspirational story in his role as board member of Cape Town Tourism and on the Board Development Fund (BDF) commitee, a programme started in 2014 to assist SMME owners from historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Lungi’s B&B placed third at the BDF’s Awards last week, missing out on the two R50 000 prizes which went to Turning Point B&B and Maboneng Township Arts Experience.

Hendricks was so moved by the story, that he and his fellow executive members agreed to contribute R50 000 to assist in the development of Lungi’s B&B.

The dream of opening Lungi’s B&B was borne while Lungi worked as a domestic worker at another B&B in Sea Point and noticed that tourists were interested in experiencing township life.

In 2010, with Marijke Frijters’-her previous employer- assistance in initial fundraising, her dream became a reality with Lungi’s B&B opening its doors in February of the year.

The grant will be used to build a fence and a gate, to create a new garden and replace furniture destroyed by the fire in 2014; to invest in the ‘Makaha Youth in Art Project’; as well as to further her hospitality education and to get her official tour guide qualifications.

“Lungi’s story is powerful and inspiring and her entreprenneurial spirit and self-belief have been evident throughout her journey,” said Hendricks.

“In many ways it resonates with the Thebe story which came from humble beginnings and has since grown into a significant, respected black-owned business. We aim to empower her in building a sustainable business, and this kind of initiative could be the start of something much bigger for Thebe Tourism going forward.”

Hendricks also challenged other companies in the private sector to come on board to transform the tourism sector by uplifting community-based businesses.

“In South Africa, the SME market is where our growth will come from and we cannot rely solely on government for funding and support; we, as the private sector, must play a major role in driving innovation, sustainability and transformation in tourism. This, in turn, creates the space for entrepreneurs to engage with their ideas and bring them to fruition. We’ll take Lungi’s experience with us and learn from it,” he said . Find out more about Lungi’s B&B by visiting www.lungis.co.za. For more information visit www.thebetourism.co.za or call 021 551 0288.

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