Guru on new stadium

2008-12-12 00:00

WHEN Florina Maphalala was appointed manager of the visitor’s centre at the Moses Mabhida stadium construction site, she knew nothing about the construction world.

Today, the bubbly woman from KwaMashu is a construction expert who is well versed in Durban’s 2010 showpiece.

She is responsible for showing local and international tourists step-by-step details of the massive construction, from the destruction of the old soccer stadium to what the completed state-of-the-art stadium will look like. She has mastered the art of giving an entertaining and informative presentation about the stadium.

And judging by the comments made in the visitor’s book, her audiences love her humour and obvious passion for her work.

It was clearly by chance that Maphalala, a former secretary at an engineering consultancy, got the visitor’s centre prime position.

“My bosses told me to update my CV and apply for the job. I applied and forgot about the job because I was happy with my current job and had no reason to leave,” she said.

A few weeks later, she was called for an interview. Impressed with her warm personality and passion for her work, the panel told Maphalala that the job was hers.

“I started work immediately. There was no formal training. It was like I was just thrown into a pool and had to learn how to swim,” she said.

Determined to be the best, Maphalala got to work an hour earlier every day, donned a hard helmet and spoke to construction workers to learn more about the stadium’s building process.

“I knew I had to learn more about the stadium if I was to tell others about it. Every day I would ask the workers new questions. I would also read all the newspaper articles about the stadium,” she said.

She said she loves her job because she gets to meet interesting people every day and said she feels immense pride when she sees the stadium.

“The stadium is like my child. Seeing it grow day by day has been an emotional experience for me. It’s wonderful being a part of this amazing project that will go down in history,” she said.

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