Working alongside people like Advice Baloyi is a reminder to us all that if you really want something in life you have to get up and go after it; with some hard work and determination anyone can reach the goals they have set for themselves.
Advice grew up under the watchful eye of her disabled grandmother in the Makuleke – a community where life was not easy. Since then, Advice has grown into a true leader and now holds the title of Housekeeping Supervisor at Thornybush Game Lodge.
Her strong, determined grandmother was a real guide for Advice while she was growing up – from a young age she taught Advice the importance of learning. Her constant mantra was “get an education, no one can ever take that away from you”. She raised Advice to be a firm and strong minded woman who can do anything she sets her mind to.
Another person who motivated Advice in her younger years was Bongani, a shining beacon of light for all the young people in their community. His passion for helping youngsters uplift themselves is tangible and had an encouraging effect on Advice. Bongani taught not only Advice, but many of her friends too, that a better life was available to them if they worked hard enough on their education.
After finishing school, Advice moved to Graaff Reinet to attend South African College of Tourism, a hospitality-based school. After her studies, she completed a year-long internship program with San Parks just outside Kimberly at the Mokala National Park. This was her first taste of the real deal and she was hooked! “Hospitality is a beautiful thing; you have to stay focused though. Always dealing with different people means lots of varied encounters, different people react in different ways, so you have to remain calm, listen to the situation and assess from there.”
Advice first joined the Thornybush team in a relief position for the Front of House at Chapungu. She then moved to Game Lodge as a bar lady before shifting across to Waterside Lodge, first as a night receptionist and then a receptionist.
When the opportunity presented itself, she applied for the Housekeeping Supervisor role and her success in this position has now earned her the same placement at Game Lodge. Advice is a good leader with an empathetic approach and an eye for detail. She loves working at Game Lodge, seeing the environment as a refreshing one, plus the fluidity of her position allows her to help in other departments, which she thoroughly enjoys.
For now, Advice is happy in this position – she has worked hard to attain this role and would like to just be in the moment for a while. She would at some stage like to upgrade her qualifications and learn more about management skills.
Ultimately, she would love to manage a small lodge, she feels that with her extensive experience in so many departments she would be able to take over the role as manager in a small intimate camp.
One thing she knows for sure is that she will be staying in this area, its proximity to a small town and the shops is extremely appealing to this stylish lady. Plus, the many safari operations in the area means there is plenty of healthy competition and always lots of opportunities!
When she isn’t behind her desk, she has her nose in a book – reading is her big love, and it allows her the chance to keep her dreams big.