Busisiwe Khumalo: A hospitality luminary shaping future leaders

Published Jun 24, 2024


By Oceans Marasha

In the bustling world of hospitality, Busisiwe Khumalo stands as a beacon of passion, expertise, and dedication. As a lecturer at The IIE School of Hospitality & Service Management’s Rosebank campus, Khumalo not only imparts knowledge, but also inspires the next generation of hospitality professionals to reach new heights.

With a wealth of experience and a genuine love for her craft, Khumalo's journey from Bloemfontein to Benoni is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence.

Khumalo's foray into the world of hospitality began after completing her National Diploma, where she embarked on a trainee programme at Hippo Hollow in Mpumalanga. Her journey then took her to the prestigious Sandton Sun Hotel, where she honed her skills and climbed the ranks, eventually finding herself as a banqueting coordinator.

However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic prompted Khumalo to pivot and pursue further studies, earning a Post Graduate Certificate in Education and a Post Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management.

Her thirst for knowledge and dedication to her craft led Khumalo to new horizons, including a stint in Aspen, Colorado, where she gained invaluable international experience before returning to her roots in South Africa.

Now, as a lecturer, Khumalo brings a wealth of real-world experience to the classroom, enriching her students' learning experiences and preparing them for success in the dynamic world of hospitality.

‘’I always tell my students to look at the end goal, how hospitality can open so many doors, and the best part is that they are able to work internationally once they complete their studies,’’ said Khumalo.

At the heart of Khumalo's teaching philosophy lies the importance of a positive attitude and adaptability — qualities she believes are essential for thriving in the hospitality industry.

With a curriculum that covers a wide range of topics, from hotel management to event planning, Khumalo equips her students with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their careers.

When asked about the key attributes of a good host, Khumalo emphasises the importance of teamwork — a quality she instils in her students through hands-on learning experiences and collaborative projects.

She believes that combining academic learning with practical experience is vital for preparing students for the labour market, ensuring they are well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the industry.

Looking ahead, Khumalo sees exciting trends shaping the future of hospitality, including the rise of "bleisure" and "workation" travel.

As remote work becomes more prevalent, hotels and resorts are embracing this trend by offering co-working spaces and amenities tailored to remote workers, providing new opportunities for the hospitality industry to thrive.

Through her unwavering passion, expertise, and dedication, Busisiwe Khumalo is not only shaping future leaders in the hospitality industry but also inspiring them to dream big and reach for the stars.

With her guidance, the next generation of hospitality professionals is poised to make a lasting impact on the world of hospitality, one smile at a time.