Another formidable woman in our Morukuru Family who works behind the scenes keeping tabs on the finances Sandra Megit from the Finance Department. We hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better.
You have been with Morukuru Family for over five years. Tell us about your first day on the job, and share some changes you have seen the business undergo over this time. All these years later and I still remember the warm and welcoming first day I received at Morukuru Family. Everyone went out of their way to introduce themselves and help me settle in and find my way around. Many moving parts happen behind the scenes to ensure that our guests have an unforgettable experience, and the entire team worked with me to fit in seamlessly and hit the ground running. There was no such thing as a silly question. The team was always happy to stop what they were doing and help me wherever needed.
An organisation with the culture and success the Morukuru Family has achieved, we are always looking at ways to improve and push ourselves to do better, provide more exclusive experiences for guests and create the once-in-a-lifetime moments they have chosen to spend with us. Like any Family, situations arise that are beyond our control. But it is how we react in those moments that define us.
I think everyone would agree the biggest change and challenge that hit us was COVID-19.
That moment would change the world as we know it. The globe stood still and watched helplessly as the Coronavirus would wipe out all we knew. Tourism was one of the hardest-hit industries. In an instant, we were forced to stop doing what we love most, welcoming our Family from around the world into our home. But, with the guidance and leadership of the Morukuru Family owners, Ed and Anka, we refused to let the situation dictate the future of the Family. Everyone in the team, from marketing, reservations, the lodge teams, management and the owners, pulled together with a clear plan to assist our guests in navigating the uncertainty created by a global pandemic.
Many tourism organisations have faltered but not Morukuru Family! Ed and Anka held the team together with a razor focus. Our staff, our team, and our Family were that focus.
Navigating the constantly changing local and international restrictions, they led us through the chaos, going over and beyond to ensure we could do what we do best, deliver a world-class experience.
Morukuru is all about “family”. In your opinion, how does this philosophy translate in the workplace? One of Anthony Brandt’s quotes sums up the Morukuru Family beautifully; “Other things may change, but we start and end with Family.” We all work together to achieve a common goal. Every booking and every visit is not viewed as a guest. Instead, it is considered a member of our family coming to visit. Every member understands the moving parts of an experience.
From the moment someone enquires, our reservations team ensures that our visitors know everything available during their stay. The other team members, from finance to lodge teams, ensure that the logistical process is completed seamlessly.
A lot happens behind the scenes, and as a Family, we all pull together to ensure our guests have the best experience. The cliché of a well-oiled machine holds true with the Morukuru Family. All the moving parts work seamlessly to ensure that all our guests must worry about is spotting our incredible wildlife and choosing their sundowner drink.
What’s the most important lesson you learned from a woman? A mentor, a life’s experience to call on, strength and guidance all wrapped up in my mom. From the smallest to the biggest decisions, my Mom has been there. From travelling around the world as part of the management team with various cruise ship companies to supporting me through my desire to be a professional makeup artist and being my soundboard to when I started my own accounting company…. My mom has always been there. Her famous saying is “nothing lasts forever”. So no matter what challenges you are facing or how life knocks us, never give up, as this too shall pass.
She knows the challenges of women making a career in a male-dominated space, having to prove themselves and go far beyond what is expected. She taught me not only to know what I need to know but to know everything is possible and apply that to ensure that I am the point person on everything related to my career. Core to the lessons learnt from this incredible woman were the value of education, constantly pushing yourself to do better and furthering my formal and general knowledge.
Another gem from my mom is; that “being book smart isn’t everything you need to grow”.This has been invaluable advice and a lesson I try to pass on to women starting their own journey and entering the business world.
When you are not in the office - how do you like to spend your leisure time? My leisure time is used doing something that first started as a hobby and later a profession, but I still thoroughly enjoy doing it when I find the time. Being a part-time lecturer and professional makeup artist for television and various productions has led me to make amazing friends over the years. And while this exciting vocation challenges me regularly, I find being able to volunteer to mentor and train young up-and-coming makeup artists to understand the industry from a training, and career perspective fills me with joy. Watching their creativity grow and shine is still wonderful to witness while helping them take those first steps into a competitive environment. Even this, however, pales in comparison to having the honour of being able to assist underprivileged and sometimes disabled girls and women feel beautiful for a special moment in their lives. Whether it is a matric dance or an awards show, the cost of professional makeup is not always possible for many. The appreciation, gratitude and confidence that radiates from them for doing but a simple act of kindness fills my soul.
Morukuru Family is famous for its outstanding service levels and winning awards. Do you feel proud to be part of such a successful team? Success is no accident; it doesn’t happen through happenstance or luck. Instead, it is created through hard work and perseverance to achieve a single-minded goal, to provide and constantly improve our world-class service. The pride I feel seeing the success of the Morukuru Family always feels extra special because I know some people who fill the pages of the Morukuru story. Their own dreams, ambition and commitment drive the Morukuru Family forward. Just like the Tswana meaning of ‘Morukuru’, the Tamboti Tree is renowned for the strength of its roots; holding it firmly in place is our lodge staff, game rangers, chefs, reservation and planning teams, management and owners reaching out into the African sky with the leaves of our Family for all to see.
The measurement of our success is not just for international awards and recognition but to know we are part of the team that created moments and memories that our guests will carry with them for the rest of their lives. A person can only be proud.
What does Women’s Day/Women’s Month mean to you? Women’s Day and Women’s Month, while admirable that it takes place every year in August, should be acknowledged every single day of the year. Every single day there are women of all ages, races and backgrounds doing incredible work. They are moms, teachers, doctors, lawyers and every imaginable profession, including game rangers, by the way. August does, however, show that despite being equal in every single way, women are still held to a lower standard. I hope that discussions around the important role that women play in the professional workplace extend far beyond the month of August. It also shows how much more needs to be done to see more women in leadership roles in business and government. Finally, I believe it will show young girls that they too can achieve anything a man can do and forever change the saying, “behind every strong man is a woman”, to “standing alongside that strong man is a strong woman”.