June 2022: Marriott International graduated its first group of ten leaders who participated in the company’s bespoke Khulanathi Leadership Development programme, while also welcoming the second group of high potential South African hospitality leaders. The 12-month programme focuses on developing employment equity talent from within and supporting candidates in becoming Hotel General Managers, as well as those who have been recently appointed as a General Manager. Khulanatahi equips candidates with the right leadership competencies to successfully lead the ever-growing travel company into the future.

Khulanathi, which means ‘grow with us’, affords candidates the opportunity to take on a five-month Management Development Programme, run through the University of Stellenbosch Business School Executive Development (Pty) Ltd. Marriott International grants participants the required study leave and provides full bursaries for the duration of the course. For the remaining months candidates take on an internal curriculum which includes formal education, cross-exposure and job shadowing.
Graduates from this year’s programme included hotel leaders from departments such as Sales, Food & Beverage Finance and Operations.
Francisca Martinez, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region says, “The Khulanathi programme was launched to build a strong internal talent pipeline to put promising equity candidates on the path to growing to senior manager levels. We’re delighted at the success of the very first ten Khulanathi graduates and we are now poised for this year’s second intake.”

The first Khulanathi graduation ceremony was held on 13th of June 2022. It was an occasion to celebrate the top performers in this group including Bridgette Ngono, General Manager of Protea by Marriott Karridene Beach. Commenting on the programme, Ngono said, “Khulanathi has offered us a fantastic opportunity to focus on our development in leadership practices. The online learning modules, targeted on-the-job training, and special projects with assigned mentors enabled us to both learn important leadership theory, and then put it into practice in our workplaces. It’s been a rewarding year of boosting our knowledge, skills and confidence in leading our teams.”
Zamuxolo Benjamin Memani, Area Director of Human Resources for Sub-Saharan Africa, Marriott International added, “We congratulate the inaugural Khulanathi graduates who have worked incredibly hard over the past 12 months. The African region is a strategic growth area for Marriott International and we are committed to unlocking the phenomenal leadership potential on the continent by looking within our own operations to identify and develop employment equity talent. Khulanathi graduates are being equipped to take up top roles, not just in our South African properties but throughout our organisation”.