Our first stop was our Reservations Department, where we caught up with Michelle Anderson and Melanie Murdoch.
Michelle has two children, Micke Anderson (aged 9) and Sebastian Anderson (aged 3). Michelle believes being a working mum sets a positive tone and has established her as a good role model for her little ones.
"My Mom has been the greatest influence in my life. She taught me how to be independent, make strong family connections, and set goals to become a strong woman" Michelle adds that her parenting goals include raising healthy, happy children who have the skills and confidence to explore and venture into the world. Her greatest reward so far is that Micke and Sebastian have taught her not to sweat the small stuff and let her hair down and dance like nobody is watching. This Sunday, Michelle will celebrate Mother's Day with a delicious Sunday lunch that she prepares and cooks herself. Like the famous saying, "a mother's job is never done"
Melanie is blessed with her daughter Maddison Murdoch. At just fifteen-months old, Maddison is learning and growing every day. Melanie says that she is humbled by watching Maddison hitting her milestones and that walking the path of "growing up" alongside her daughter brings her great joy. "There's a saying that if you have a daughter, you'll have a friend for life, and I am very grateful to have my mom as a friend and to have a daughter of my own to continue walking through life with." Melanie's greatest hope is that Maddison follows her dreams and knows she is always loved.
There are also Mums at Morukuru Family Madikwe.
Three-year-old Gerbrand Willem Steyn is super lucky to call Anne-Marie Steyn (GM) his mum, and he calls out Mamma, Ma or Moeder when he needs her to find something, fix something or help him in any way. Gerbrand is already part of the Morukuru family and has had plenty of opportunities to explore the bush. Anne-Marie says," I'm amazed at what he finds, and I'm privileged to be able to teach my son about nature. It is a thrill to experience life through his eyes and share his excitement of seeing something for the first time. Being a working mum is never easy and getting a work-life balance is particularly challenging when you live and work in the wilderness. However, Anne-Marie says that her parenting journey has allowed her to assist mothers that travel to the bush since she is raising her son "out in the wild". And that being a Mum has taught her greater patience and understanding.
Suzan "Nanki" Rakobane (Housekeeper) has two children; Lahome, the baby of the family at twelve years old and Cresswell, who has already celebrated his thirtieth birthday. Nanki told us that she has high hopes that her children will embrace every opportunity to continue their education. She says, "My kids have taught me so much, especially about being humble and celebrating self-love. My own mother set a powerful example for me; she always emphasised having respect for others. This lesson has strongly influenced my personal and professional life."
Gloria Mlambo in Housekeeping has 3 girls Otshepeng (16), Reneilwe ( 14) Reaotshepa (4 months). Her greatest wish for her children is that they will be happy and healthy and do well at school so that they have good futures ahead of them.
Rosemary Mlambo (Housekeeper), has two children; Lelhoqonolo, the eldest at eighteen, and Lefa, who is nine, going on ten. Rosemary believes in the African proverb that "Children are the reward of life" and is a devoted mother.
Another of our Morukuru Madikwe mums is Masego Salvation Thebyane. When she's not focussed on bringing her A-Game to her scullery job, she is going the extra mile to be a devoted mother to Ofentse ( 9 years old ) and Kaboenthle ( 6-months old). Mma is how you say "mum" in her language. "All I want for my kids is that they grow up with integrity and appreciate the value of a strong family unit and go on to fulfil their true potential.," Masego told us. We know that Masego taps into her people skills at work and carries out her responsibilities with purpose and passion. Her example of dedication and commitment is setting the standard for her children to follow.Our team in De Hoop is filled with marvellous mums like Sinegugu Mgxgxwa (sculler), who has three children Anomsa (7 years), Amandla (4 years) & Yibanathi (8 months). Sinegugu says for her, the most challenging part of being a parent is watching your children going through something really tough and not being able to fix it for them.
Chef's Assistant, Rebotile Noko turns to the advice and guidance of her own late mum on how to be the best mum possible. "She was a huge influence. When my mother was still alive, she took care of my daughter. She taught me how to care for my daughter Dithoriso Lesedi who is just six years old". When Rebotile is not creating magic in the kitchen, she spends as much time as possible with Dithoriso, her favourite little person and is always happy to see her mum. "Dithoriso must follow her own dreams and know that I will always support her."
Manager Kayleigh Lamprecht is double blessed with two children, Chloé (10) and Leland (7 months). Kayleigh calls Chloe her "bonus daughter" - the family does not use the word step-child. That positive and progressive sentiment is carried through in everything Kayleigh does as a mother. "The thing that gives me the most joy as a mother is seeing my children accomplish something for themselves. When they learn something new or get something right, they have been struggling with it. I am filled with joy every day when I get home from work, and my little boy gets overly excited to see me, or when we pick up my bonus daughter from school, and she smiles when she sees I'm there waiting for her. "Being a parent brings new skills, and Kayleigh says that having a baby herself has given her more confidence to interact and care for little ones visiting De Hoop. "I'm definitely growing in my role now that I've had a child and am happy to share my new experience with guests and families."
Chef’s Assistant Bongi Nadabeni says seeing her two children happy is a dose of sunshine after a long day at work. "I have two boys Lilitha, who is 21 but still needs his mum and Likhanye, who is my gorgeous 10-year old." Bongi doesn't see her children every day but is confident that they are being well cared for, and when she does see them, she spoils them with a traditional treat she learnt from her own mum. Homemade Vetkoek! Nothing beats traditional family recipes. "I love my children more than anything, and if it wasn't for them, I don't think I would be working anymore."