CCFA Intern Update – May 2023

Our two 2023 Greening Young Futures interns have been busy with their six-month placements since the beginning of April at Nyosi Wildlife Reserve. We caught up recently with Akona Ngalo and Vuyisanani “Tshatshu” Busakwe to find out how their internships are going…

Have you enjoyed your internship at Nyosi so far?

Akona: I have enjoyed it!

Tshatshu: Very much enjoyed the experience. The team spirit and morale are great at Nyosi. All employees are keen to help and teach me things and go out of their way to facilitate this.

What are the various aspects that you’ve been involved in and learning about?

Akona: I have been involved in many hospitality aspects such as the wine & gin tasting – Antonio has been helping and guiding me, and I have found it very interesting and enjoyable. Busi has been showing me how to be a Barista and Anele has started to introduce me to the booking system. I have also had the opportunity to interact with Indalo and learn about plans and projects they are doing. I was also given the opportunity to host an event in the Villa and attend to all the guests for a day meeting.

Tshatshu: Kitchen – cooking and baking with DJ. Blackie is teaching me about plants and even lent me a nature guidebook which I found super interesting and made me start to research FGASA however the tuition fees are very expensive.

What is the highlight from your first month of internship?

Akona: Game drives with field guide Abi. Abi teaches me about the landscape and animals.

Tshatshu: I would like to answer Q3&4 together.

What are you looking forward to the most as part of your internship?

Akona: Learning more especially nature and how to conserve nature and keep it going.

Tshatshu: At Nyosi the staff take excellent care of the maintenance and are extremely hardworking. This continues to inspire me and is highlighted daily. Thus, makes every day a highlight and I look forward to all the learning which is still to come.

Are you excited to start working together with Indalo on the Greening the Community follow-ups at the schools in KwaNobuhle?

Akona: YES! If we involve young minds, we can preserve nature for the next generation.

Tshatshu: VERY! I know a lot of schools and teachers where we will be doing our follow-ups. I am grateful to give back to the community and to do something special for the community to show them to get involved in good things. (He expressed often that he loves working at Nyosi and then going home to soccer training. He is actively trying to be involved in wholesome work and after-work activities. Many of these peers and younger have resorted to drugs and crime).

What message would you want to share with the pupils at the KwaNobuhle schools?

Akona: School is NB we need to take care of nature. We are also nature therefore going green is the way forward.

Tshatshu: Try to be positive, and don’t allow peers to pressure you. Be active i.e., play sports and get involved in good community activities i.e., talent show.

Have you had people from your community asking questions about your internship experience so far? If so, what are they interested to know?

Akona:  Friends, family and fellow churchgoers have expressed – interest in coming to experience Nyosi to see what is happening here.

Tshatshu:  Currently I only see my friends on weekends as my daily routine does not allow for seeing friends – I come to work and go back to soccer practice followed by home. However, I have often updated my WhatsApp status or on weekends friends have been asking about my experience.

Has your internship experience so far impacted your career ambitions?

Akona: Originally, I wanted to be a teacher as I am good at teaching people things. Since being in a hospitality space I learnt more and realized how much work there is to be done in this industry. Being a Game ranger is something I am also interested in.

Tshatshu: I would love to have a career where I can maintain a balance of work and sport. My ideal would be to work and still be able to play soccer after work. Careers which have started to interest me are guiding, veterinary, nursing, and social work.

What is your favourite wild animal and why?

Akona: Elephant – as it is big and strong (like me!)

Tshatshu:  Giraffes – their patterns are amazing.

We are looking forward to following the rest of Akona and Tshatshu’s internship journeys, as they continue to be exposed to various aspects of ecotourism, hospitality, conservation, community projects and more!

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