Meet the 2015 Inter Hotel Cape Legends Finalists: Mduduzi Shabangu

Tuesday, 4 August, 2015
Inter Hotel Cape Legends
2015 sees the announcement of the annual Cape Legends Inter Hotel Challenge now in its third year with 25 hotels from the Cape, Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng on board. Meet this year's extraordinary Wine Steward Finalists:

A chance entry into the hospitality industry led, 30-year-old Mduduzi Shabangu to his latest role as the assistant restaurant manager and wine steward at one of Durban’s iconic hotels - the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.

It was more than eight years ago when a friend offered him a job as a waiter at a local restaurant chain, but Shabangu enjoyed the industry so much that he was determined to excel and thrive in the industry.

Shabangu maintains that it was his "passion and determination” that led to him to move rapidly up the ranks to the second in command in less than a year. After moving around within the Spur Corporation Group from Richards Bay to Chatsworth and thereafter Wilsons Wharf in Durban, Shabangu decided to leave the group in 2009 and open his own fast food restaurant under the Piatto Group.

Before joining Tsogo Sun, Shabangu ran his own restaurant in a shopping centre in Kwamashu. Originally from a rural village, Shabangu was raised in Nquthu. Northern KZN.

“It was actually a privilege growing up there, as it taught me some very valuable principles of life, like patience and respect,” explained Shabangu. The father of two sons says, “I always wish my sons would grow up there before they move to the city.”

Having travelled overseas, Shabangu visited the United Kingdom for 6 months after which he returned to South Africa to pursue his studies in Psychology. However due to unforeseen circumstances he could not continue studying and soon found himself cooking up a storm in the hospitality industry.

“The one thing that I have always loved and still love to this day about my position, is the anticipation of a new challenge every day, because each day is so different from the previous day. That is what I’d say motivates and excites me and makes my position so interesting,” explains Shabangu.

“A long term goal is to follow my great love for hospitality and cooking and to open my own restaurant once again. The trend that I’ve noticed emerging lately is the growing number of “Black Diamonds” actually making time to eat out in restaurants. These are the young, mid to high income earning black youth who have slowly started to enjoy eating out and picking up on different types of cuisines, wines, beers and just enjoying themselves.

“ It is really a joy to see this, as it not only opens up the market for competition but also benefits well established brands, and that is where I would like to see myself in the next 5 years,” says the budding entrepreneur.

For now, Shabangu explains that Tsogo Sun is one of the most exciting hotel groups to work for, “It is the ideal place to work in if you are looking to further a career in Hospitality. The opportunities are only limited by your own perception as the group is expanding in such a rapid rate that in the years to come it will truly be a global giant in the hospitality sector.”