Nomsa Mazibuko realised her dream of establishing a guesthouse ten years ago with the opening of Visit Vakasha Guest Lodge. The eMalahleni-based (Witbank) guesthouse’s business has grown to include three accommodation options, spa treatments, as well as conference and catering facilities.
“The guesthouse passion or seed was planted while I was responsible for Tsogo Sun’s The Ridge Hotel housekeeping. I told myself then that one day I would own something similar and it took me ten years to realise that dream,” says Mazibuko. Her passion was to create a comfortable home away from home for corporate and private travellers, as well as to make a positive contribution to tourism and the South African economy.
Finance was a challenge, but a second bond against the property helped and was a risk that Mazibuko was willing to take to get her business up and running. The risk paid off.
Visit Vakasha Guest Lodge has grown from eight rooms to 50 rooms over three properties – Visit Vakasha 1, Visit Vakasha 2 and the Boarding House. Mazibuko says it is looking to expand. “We want to convert the guesthouse into a hotel and also look at franchising Vakasha.”
Visit Vakasha’s growth has not gone unnoticed. In 2015 Mazibuko won the Tsogo Sun Entrepreneur of the Year award, and in 2016 she was the South African National Business Woman of the Year runner-up.
In 2016, Visit Vakasha Guest Lodge won three Lilizela Awards – the provincial awards in Backpacking and Hosteling, Bed and Breakfast categories, and then going on to win the national Bed and Breakfast category award.