Interview with Mirriam who was been with the same company for 25 years!

At Wild Dreams we often talk about it being the time to find a new job & for many people they have worked for multiple different companies, often within different industries & it may be the right time to start looking but for others when you find your happy place at work before you know it, you may have been working at the same place for 25 years, & still loving it! 

That is the case for Mirriam who has been working at Kings Camp in the Timbavati for her entire working career, & still going strong. She shares some wise words in this interview we did with her…


25 years is quite an achievement! Was Kings Camp your first job or did you work before you started at the lodge?

Kings Camp was my first job, before I accepted the position, I was doing a pre-school childcare course because I love children & at the time, I was considering opening a creche when I had the funds to do so.

What year did you start at Kings, if you can remember that far back!

It was 1997.

How did you get the job?

I found out from a friend who was working at the lodge that they were hiring & I told her I was interested so she suggested I send through my Cv. I was then contacted by the manager, who was & still is the manager today! She asked me to come for an interview. The interview went well & I got the job & started the very next day, I didn’t even go home in-between!

What was your first position when you started?

I was mostly working as a housekeeper, however back then all of the staff worked in all departments so although this was my main role I would also work in the bar & dining room often & do whatever was needed.

What do you remember about your first experience of working life?

I had a wonderful housekeeping manager who really mentored me, her name was Laetita & she really motivated me to better myself. At the time I wasn’t sure why she kept telling me to prove myself, I thought maybe I wasn’t doing the job well but then I realized that if I really worked hard I could move forward in my career quickly & she used to always say ‘’Gijima’’ which means ‘’you should run/get moving/be quick’’ in Zulu, so I always had this in my mind & would try & go above & beyond in everything I did & even though I was just a housekeeper I would often do the work of a supervisor & support her which helped me to learn quickly but also get noticed.

How did your career progress while at working at the lodge?

After being in housekeeping I was offer a position by management in the bar, we had people come to give us training & I did this job for about 1,5 years & I then found out that our then head of housekeeping was leaving so I had decided to apply for this, I wrote an application letter but I didn’t get the chance to give it to Warren & Lisha, the managers because they called me in for a meeting & said that they felt I may be able to do the job & asked me if I would be willing to do it for a 3 month trial period to see how it went. I accepted & after just 1,5 months they confirmed I would stay in this role, so I was now the head of housekeeping which is the job I am still in now.

How many staff do you manage?

The most I have managed was 13, it is currently 12 housekeepers that report to me.

There must be too many to count, but what is your happiest memory of being at Kings Camp so far?

Both times I was promoted were really happy memories for me, especially because they had been unexpected & showed me that I was being noticed for my hard work.

I also have a clear memory of being recognized for my work, I can even recall that it was a really hot day. I was working in the bar at the time & our owners were sitting on our viewing deck which overlooks the lodge. I noticed a guest coming from a room who was carrying 2 bags of laundry. I ran over to the guest & asked if I could help them & confirmed that they were taking them to be washed. The guest was really grateful. What I didn’t realize was that our owner was watching me & shortly after this the managers called me to ask if the guest had called me over or if I had seen the guest & gone over myself, so I explained I had assisted her as I saw she needed help & they thanked me on behalf of them & the owner & said that this is the exactly what they needed from the staff.

Do you have any advice for people who are hoping to get promoted?

Always go the extra mile, act on things before you are asked to do them & always try your best & Gijima!

Do you have advice for anyone who would like to start working within the hospitality industry?

This advice is really relevant for any industry but to me it’s really important to know what you want & to do what you love. So many people only work because they want to get money & although this is important you should do your job because you love it first & foremost.

Why do you love working in the industry?

I love being in the bush, I like the animals & the peace & quiet. I also love meeting people from all over the world.

Thank you, Mirriam, its been a pleasure hearing about your hospitality journey & heres to many more years!