Maintenance Magician – Elvis Gwente

According to Bruce Springsteen, “Everything starts and ends with Elvis.” Of course, The Boss was speaking of rock ‘n roll legend Elvis Presley. Here at Morukuru Family De Hoop, we have our very own superstar Elvis Gwente, who keeps an eye on all our maintenance, DIY and repairs.

Every day you help many different people with many different things - what are some of your favourite tasks?  You know I love my job, especially because I get to tackle many tasks. The thing I enjoy most is getting the properties ready for guests and fixing things that have been broken.

What work achievement are you most proud of?  I get a real kick out of maintenance. I’m a bit of a DIY nerd and love fixing broken things. I think there is something beautiful about seeing things on their last legs getting a second life. It gives me an enormous sense of achievement.

Can you fix or repair just about anything? Yes, indeed, I can fix almost anything around the lodge. I enjoy understanding how things are put together and the mechanics of how things work?

Morukuru has very high standards - some of your colleagues call you a Miracle Worker...what do you think of that?  I am proud of all that I have achieved. I previously worked in the defence industry and felt quite pigeon-holed. When I began at Morukuru Family De Hoop, I started in the scullery and was given the opportunity to grow, allowing me to move into maintenance. Morukuru Family De Hoop has encouraged me to grow and challenge myself.

How do you decide if a piece of equipment should be repaired or replaced?  I prefer to fix things - but sometimes it’s more cost-effective to replace them.

Tell us about an instance of where you identified a maintenance problem before it became urgent - where your attention to detail/experience and problem-solving came to the fore? One day I was doing my laundry, and I noticed that one of the washing machines was not working as it should. Luckily I picked up the problem in time and fixed it before it became a big issue. A faulty washing machine can have a negative impact on the operations of the lodge.

Do you enjoy living right in the middle of a nature reserve? Yes, I love it here, and I feel very safe.

Since working at Morukuru Family  De Hoop, have you learnt a lot about the area? Every day is a learning opportunity. The team here passes on plenty of new information about the De Hoop Reserve, and the management has helped me learn more about the workings of the two properties.

  Which is your favourite season - summer/autumn/winter/spring - and why? I enjoy all the seasons – I look forward to each one. There is something new and exciting about the change of season.