Man on the move – Peter Mhanaza
One day, three years ago, Peter Mhanaza stood in a queue with 600 people at Sterkfontein Caves for five hours, waiting to be interviewed. As the queue got shorter, Peter became more anxious. “It was nerve-racking but worth it because I got the job,” he says.
Peter is the assistant food and beverage manager at Maropeng. He has been working at the Cradle of Humankind for three years and has risen quickly and successfully through a variety of positions.
He joined the Maropeng staff in 2005, working at the ticket office. In June 2006 he was promoted to the hotel reception, where he also assisted in the hotel restaurant as a waiter and bartender, helped to edit Maropeng’s website, and assisted with marketing as an ambassador for Maropeng at the Rand Show.
Peter continued to rise through the ranks and in February 2007 he moved to reservations. It wasn’t long before he was working at Sterkfontein Caves as operations supervisor, before being promoted once again to his current position as assistant food and beverage manager.
Peter says he enjoys interacting with guests and meeting new people every day. A highlight for him has been meeting the stars of Generations and Muvhango when they visited the Cradle of Humankind.
Working at Maropeng has changed Peter’s life. “I heard in the township that Maropeng was looking for staff,” he says, “so I came to Sterkfontein, where there were over 600 people waiting to be interviewed.” His patience as he stood in the queue that day paid off, as he was offered his first job.
“I have learnt so much at Maropeng,” he continues. “I have met so many people and gone to so many places – it has opened up so much for me.”
Peter describes himself as an outgoing person who likes challenges. “I always try to learn as much as I can,” he says. “I don’t like staying in one position. I like to include myself in many different departments.”
Gift Sibanda, Maropeng’s tour guide supervisor, is full of praise for Peter, describing him as “a go-getter”. “Peter has worked very hard at Maropeng,” Gift says. “He started at the ticket office and now he is assistant food and beverage manager. He’s always looking for something higher. He’s a really good guy.”
In the future, Peter sees himself as food and beverage managing director. Thanks to his determination and positive attitude, it won’t be a five-hour wait in a line this time – he has moved way up the queue.
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