Ind­aba boosts lo­cal busi­ness

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Siya Miti

THE AFRICA’S

Street ven­dor Solani Mt­shali will be sad to see Africa’s Tourism Ind­aba come to an end be­cause her beads busi­ness has been boom­ing ever since the conference be­gan.

“This is my first time at this event and I wish this oc­ca­sion would never end. It’s been a great boost for my busi­ness. I’ve al­ready made more than R1 000 this morn­ing and it’s not ev­ery day that we sell so much,” said Mt­shali.

Mt­shali is part of a group of women from Mziny­athi in Dur­ban KwZulu-Na­tal who were ap­proached by the eThek­wini Mu­nic­i­pal­ity to sell their bead work on the out­skirts of the Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre where Africa’s Tourism Ind­aba is held.

Mt­shali sells “im­benge” which has or­na­men­tal value, “umx­ego” which is more like a neck­lace and belts made from bead­work.

The group also dec­o­rates items like “isi­cho­cho” a Zulu hat worn by mar­ried women with bead­work.

Africa’s Travel Ind­aba is one of the largest tourism mar­ket­ing events on the African cal­en­dar.

It show­cases the widest va­ri­ety of South­ern Africa's best tourism prod­ucts and at­tracts in­ter­na­tional buy­ers and me­dia from across the world. The event event took place on 8 -10 May.

Meanwhile Mankits­ing Mo­let­sane from Dash Lodge a hid­den gem in Bloem­fontein is also mak­ing her pres­ences felt at Africa’s Tourism Ind­aba.

She said be­ing cho­sen by SA Tourism to ex­hibit her work was a good op­por­tu­nity and is help­ing her mar­ket the busi­ness.

Mo­let­sane em­ploys five peo­ple and her lodge has ten en-suite rooms, pro­vides bed and break­fast ser­vices as well as a shut­tle service for clients.

Mo­let­sane who is an au­di­tor by train­ing opted to quit her job in govern­ment to start the busi­ness in 2011.

“I started this busi­ness be­cause I had a love of trav­el­ling.”

She mostly pro­motes her three-star lodge on­line and mainly draws cor­po­rate clients.

“We are in a cor­po­rate area of Bloem­fontein. We host dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies and we have conference fa­cil­i­ties that ac­com­mo­date 25 to 30 peo­ple,” she said.

Lo­cals also use Dash Lodge for func­tions such as bridal show­ers, baby show­ers, birth­day par­ties and corpo-

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