- Chidozie Uzoezie
Tsogo Sun Hotels Sustain Deaf Chef Programme in KwaZulu Natal
Oyena Mzamane is one of the many young chefs across Tsogo Sun’s hotels that simply love what they do. Oyena is no different to other chefs except the fact that he is Deaf.
In March 2010, Tsogo Sun introduced a Deaf Chef project that would change the lives of many aspiring Deaf/hard of hearing chefs in KwaZulu Natal.
In partnership with KwaZulu Natal Deaf Association (KZNDA) and the National Institute for the Deaf (NID), Tsogo Sun developed a programme that would create employment opportunities to empower persons with disabilities in the hospitality industry.
The programme assists deaf chefs to attain their full potential through education, life skills and training in some of the biggest hotel kitchens in the Province.
Since its inception, Garden Court Umhlanga hotel has been at the forefront of the project with KZNDA as a partner and has spent many hours sensitising all teams and adapting the standard hotel ways of working.
The Association was welcomed into the hotel to configure the kitchen layout, introduce flashing warning lights, provide relevant signage and bringing in the first group of candidates.
Following the first group selection, KZNDA ran a Deaf Sensitisation workshop and introduced basic and sector specific Sign Language to the hearing staff that would be working closely with the Deaf trainee chefs.