Felicia Mokoena was completely new to the tourism industry when she started working as a tour guide at the SAB World of Beer in 1999. With a lot of perseverance and hard work, she was appointed as manager of this top tourist attraction in 2017. We asked her a few questions about her first six months in the hot seat.
How would you describe your first six months as SAB World of Beer manager?
Rough and busy, but I am enjoying every moment.
What have you learned during the past half year?
I am learning every day. We are changing our reporting structures and we are very close to finalising the World of Beer’s new business plan and strategy.
What have been the highlights during your time as manager so far?
Implementing new special events such as Chillas Friday (when World of Beer stays open late on Fridays) and we'll also be launching our new venue soon.
What have the biggest challenges been to date?
My son Esami (15 months) was born with a kidney condition and has had to undergo two operations, so it has been challenging to balance work demands and being with him when he needed me.
Are there any exciting plans in the pipeline for the SAB World of Beer?
We have collaborated with Newtown stakeholders and are leveraging off each other’s projects. We recently organised a #MyNewtown Instawalk with well-known travel bloggers.
I'm also involved with the Johannesburg Inner City Tourism Association (JICTA) Board. The objective of this board is to revive the city, which is very exciting for me and the SAB World of Beer.
The SAB World of Beer will be a fan park for the FIFA World Cup in June and our Africa Day Festival will be a build-up to the World Cup.
Tell us about your studies. Didn't you recently pass the Gordon Institute of Business's Programme for Management Development?
Yes! I passed and will have my graduation on 4 April 2018.
What is your greatest wish for World of Beer and its customers for the rest of the year?
I'm sure we'll continue having positive interactions with new and existing customers. I truly believe that we are an establishment that inspires greatness in the services we offer and in everybody who does business with us.
My customers and colleagues can count on me and know that I'm committed to do my best to support them in driving growth, building an establishment that is recognised for efficiency and service excellence and, most importantly, making our venue the very best place to work at.
You have three children – Katleho (16), Paballo (13) and Esami (15 months). How do they feel about their mom managing such an significant business and tourist destination?
I hardly talk about my position but they know I manage the SAB World of Beer.