ONOMO Hotels’ management team from across the African continent gathered in Durban last week for their annual management meeting. The group, whose week-long engagement was hosted at ONOMO Hotel Durban, and incorporated other venues in the city centre explored Durban’s endowments and fell in love with eThekwini. This is the first time the gathering was held in South Africa, and the second time the group held such a gathering. On one of the evenings during the week, the group hosted a gala dinner that put ONOMO Hotel Durban’s Cinderella Project in the spotlight.
Chief Operations Officer of the group, Souleymane Khol, said of the gathering, “This is our second gathering of ONOMO Hotels management team and we were all excited to be coming to South Africa. Durban in particular, and we have enjoyed the city and the province’s tourism offering. The impressive coastline and the fantastic food, music and culture one gets to experience in the city are unparalleled and everyone from the management can attest to this!”
During the gathering, the management team put a spotlight on ONOMO Hotel Durban’s Cinderella Project, a community initiative that the property’s General Manager, Ursula Coster describes as “a ray of light for KwaZulu Natal.” The Cinderella Project at ONOMO Hotel Durban is on its second year running, collecting formal dresses and suits to donate to matric students at high schools from underserved communities. “Last year we collected 40 formal dresses and suits from the Durban community and these went to matriculants at Mbambangwe High School, just outside Manzimtoti. The reception from the pupils, the teachers and the community at large was humbling and we were happy to help the young learners celebrate their high school milestone in style.”
Coster says of the school choice, “We ended up working with Mbambangwe High School after meeting teachers from the school who, using their own resources, had hosted a conference at ONOMO Hotel Durban to discuss improving their matric results. We were inspired by their commitment to excellence and after taking a drive to the school, we knew we had to do our part and contribute. The Cinderella Project is our way of ensuring that we augment their dreams for better with a bit of sparkle and pizazz.”
In the week of the gathering, ONOMO Hotel Durban collected 30 formal dresses, 7 jackets, 5 pants, shirts, shoes and ties from the General Managers for the drive this year. Khol concluded, “It’s a fantastic kick off to have General Managers from the rest of the continent to support the Cinderella Project. It’s the heart of ONOMO Hotels. Each hotel across the continent has their own way of connecting with their local communities, plugging in with initiatives that make a meaningful difference.”
People can drop off their pre-loved formal dresses and suits at ONOMO Hotel Durban at 56 KE Masinga Road, Stamford Hill, Durban. The hotel will be announcing the high school they will support in the course of the year.