When humility meets authenticity
11 September 2020 | Mense
What sets Salomo Homateni Kuwa apart is his authentic, down-to-earth character and leadership style. “I am a self-managed person who believes in integrity. You must be the champion of your own destiny. I believe in setting clear goals for yourself, communicating well, training, implementing, controlling and evaluating your achievements and I believe that through this you will be able to thrive in every situation.”
Kuwa is an assistant resort manager at Namibia Wildlife Resorts’ (NWR) Okaukuejo Camp in the Etosha National Park.
Kuwa hopes to groom people around him to ensure sustainable development in NWR and Namibia as a whole. “Knowledge is power, and I believe by assisting as many people around you as you can it will eventually make Namibia a better place for everyone to live.”
He started his career in the motor industry where he worked at different car dealers in Windhoek and on different levels within the workshop environment. He joined NWR in May 2007 as a senior mechanic at their head office under the fleet department.
“I have been responsible for all the company motor vehicles and trucks, maintenance, repairs, acquisition and control. NWR has more than 20 establishments countrywide with a combined fleet of more than 130 units. I have been involved in other operational activities, especially in the maintenance coordination and support services,” Kuwa says.
After being in the tourism industry for many years, Kuwa has gained a lot of knowledge and experience in the tourism and hospitality industry in general. Kuwa has various qualifications and experience under his belt. He has completed several online short courses in tourism and hotel management under the Institute of Hospitality.
He has also completed an Auto Mechanic Diploma at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre (WVTC), an accredited BMW technician certificate from BMW South Africa, a VET trainer certificate from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) and a Bachelor of Technology degree in public management from Nust.
“Being an assistant camp manager at a big camp like Okaukuejo means you are directly accountable for the entire maintenance, campground, activities and front-office departments. You are also required to take over all other departments like finance, retail, housekeeping and food and beverage departments in the absence of the camp manager. You are exposed to all types of work from leadership, management to even administration duties. It is quite a variety of experience and challenges,” he says.
Kuwa was tasked to manage a team of more than 112 employees, which was a challenge he was more than willing to take on.
“Even though I had a supervisory background, I have never managed such a large number of staff. Nevertheless, I can confidently say that I have learnt and achieved a lot in Okaukuejo as an individual and as a team.”
Kuwa believes that what you give is what you get back. “I have earned confidence, trust, respect and support from my team. Leadership has its own challenges but when you maintain consistency, fairness and honesty you stand a good chance of receiving a high productivity output from your team.”
Kuwa says running a tourism establishment requires one to be a jack of all trades. “You must have self-discipline and manage your time well and you need to be visible all over the camp. You will encounter problems that will be difficult to rectify if you neglect some departments. It requires you to wake up early in the morning to ensure that the camp is active and on the go,” he says.
Customer satisfaction continues to inspire Kuwa to deliver the best possible service and with his great sense of humour, he exceeds his customer’s expectations and creates a memorable experience.
“Most of the clients I have dealt with always promise to come back to Okaukuejo because of the hospitality and customer care. The way you communicate to the clients, your body language and your proactiveness will eventually improve your occupancy level with multi returning customers. I love helping others to achieve their own goals,” he says.
“There are no shortcuts in life and the day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. You must be patient, humble and not give up on your goals and dreams. Integrity is the key to success,” Kuwa says.