The value of hard work and the importance of education

Published Jun 18, 2024


By Oceans Marasha

Hlumela Ntebe's path to becoming a lecturer at the IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management’s Rosebank campus is a testament to perseverance, passion for education, and a deep-rooted admiration for her grandmother's teachings.

Raised in East London under the guidance of her maternal grandmother, Ntebe learned early on the importance of hard work and the transformative power of education.

"My grandmother taught me to value people and to be kind and respectful, but most importantly, she instilled in me the value of getting an education," Ntebe reflected warmly.

Her grandmother, a role model in her own right, earned a Masters in Nursing Management in her late fifties, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to learning that deeply inspired Ntebe.

After completing her Bachelor of Commerce in International Hospitality Management, Ntebe embarked on a dynamic career journey that included internships at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton and roles at Tourvest Destination Management. These experiences not only solidified her passion for events and banqueting, but also laid the foundation for her future in academia.

Her academic pursuits continued with an Honours degree in Business Administration from the University of the Witwatersrand, and she is currently pursuing her Masters. It was during her time at The IIE’s Rosebank College that she discovered her calling as an events management lecturer, a role that expanded to include travel and tourism.

Ntebe's recent appointment as a lecturer at The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management marks a new chapter in her career, where she imparts her wealth of industry knowledge and academic rigour to aspiring hospitality professionals. Her courses cover a broad spectrum of hospitality-related topics, integrating crucial management subjects such as business management, marketing, and financial management.

"I advise students to determine their career aspirations early on and to pursue part-time opportunities to gain practical experience while studying," Ntebe said.

She believes that combining academic knowledge with practical experience is pivotal in preparing students for the demands of the hospitality industry.

When asked about the key qualifications sought by hotels today, Ntebe highlights the increasing preference for candidates with diplomas or degrees in Hospitality or Tourism Management. She underscores the importance of professionalism, compassion, efficiency, and effective communication as essential attributes for delivering exceptional service in hospitality.

Ntebe's approach to teaching is grounded in empathy and encouragement. She motivates her students to persevere and strive for their goals, regardless of their backgrounds. Her dedication to their success is evident in her commitment to instilling values of diligence, anticipation of guest needs, and problem-solving skills in her students.

Ntebe's journey from a driven student to an inspiring educator is a story of resilience and dedication. Her grandmother's wisdom continues to guide her, ensuring that she not only imparts knowledge, but also nurtures future hospitality leaders who embody excellence and compassion in their careers.

As Ntebe continues to shape young minds at the IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management, her story serves as a beacon of inspiration for anyone striving to make a difference through education and dedication to their craft.