One & Only Executive Housekeeper takes home Manager of the Year Award

Executive Housekeeper, Zanele Gumede was crowned Manager of the Year for 2018.  34-year-old Zanele is the Executive Housekeeper at the Luxurious One & Only Hotel in Cape Town. Zanele is originally from Durban but has been living in the Mother City since 2014. After graduating from the International Hotel School, Zanele joined the Seabourn Cruise Lines as a Stewardess, and has been working her way up the corporate ladder and travelling to some of the most beautiful countries in the world. With three years’ experience under her belt, Zanele decided to return to her hometown where she spent five years working at the award-winning Oyster Box Hotel situated in Umhlanga.

Zanele will forever be grateful for receiving the opportunity to attend Africa’s Leading Hotel & Culinary School. “Since I graduated in 2005 with my Hospitality Management Diploma with American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute recognition it has afforded me many opportunities, some of them include travelling the world and opening your mind to international standards, and then being able to come home and identify opportunities that will allow for you to apply these high standards,” says Zanele. Winning this award has made Zanele realize that dreams do come true, with loads of hard work and being your own cheerleader in life. From here, things can only get better, who knows perhaps one day she will be the next Group Executive Housekeeper. “That’s my five-year goal”, chuckles Zanele.

We asked Zanele what inspirational words she would like to share with the youth of South Africa, and this is what she had to say, “there’s literally a world of opportunities that exist in the Hospitality Industry. Make sure that you have set yourself a list of goals and how you want to progress from year to year. If you’re feeling stuck at the hospitality Establishment that you have been employed at, then move on and find the best fit for you.  In 2015 I decided to move backwards in my career because I needed to be confident in myself as a leader before I could lead a team of individuals. And last, but not least have passion for the industry and it will take care of you,” says Zanele.

What qualifications are needed to be a successful Housekeeper?

A solid Hospitality Management qualification from the International Hotel School is a perfect fit for anyone wishing to pursue a career in housekeeping. You can choose from full-time study, traineeship or online short courses – there’s something for everyone. With IHS’s track record in hospitality excellence and leadership, your qualification will open doors for you in the events market. Visit for more information.