Open Africa

Get to know our homestay hosts: Mawande Kondlo

17 Jul 2017

Mawande Kondlo is one of 13 Open Africa homestay hosts from the Western Cape who recently had the opportunity to attend a two-week hospitality training course at the South African College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet.

Apart from sharpening their skills in business, marketing and technology, the course culminated in the creation of an exceptional Airbnb listing, sending each of the attendees off on a brand new marketing journey. 

Less than a week after getting this qualification, Mawande had even more reason to celebrate as he received his very first booking through the site!

Here's a little bit more about the man behind the listing:

Born in Oudtshoorn in 1975, Mawande's interest in hospitality was kindled when he moved to Knysna in 1995 and took up a position at the Knysna Log Inn. Here, he cut his teeth in all things tourism - from cooking and housekeeping to managing the front desk and dealing with guests. 

He started his own business in 2006, taking guests on tours of Khayalethu township, which lies cheek-by-jowl with Knysna and can be described as a jumble of wooden shacks that are easy on the eye, but hard to live in. Mawande's tours soon became so popular that he decided to add a homestay element for guests wanting to experience the culture in a little more depth. 

Going by the name of Wandu Tours and Stays, Mawande offers traditional fare at his homestay and can sleep up to six guests

One of the highlights of a Khayalethu township tour is a visit to a place called Nekkies ('Little Necks'), also known as Little America. Here you'll meet a Ghanaian who cuts hair for a living, a Malawian tailor who has dreams of being a big businessman, Somalian shopkeepers and a Nigerian restaurateur who married a South African woman 10 years ago, and adds a touch of Lagos magic to his lunches.

Mawande is passionate about his Xhosa culture as well as serving his community - especially those suffering from HIV/Aids - through pastoral guidance and counselling, having recently completed his second year of theology studies through distance learning. 

Mwande’s Tours and Homestay currently has a turnover of less than R250,000 (US$ 20,000) per year and earns him a monthly income of approximately R6,000 (US$ 465). This is Mwande’s only source of income.

Check out Wandu Tours on Facebook and be sure to keep an eye out for his new Airbnb listing!


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