The Tourism Heroes Campaign, launched by Gondwana Collection Namibia on 19 September 2023, at The Parliament of the Republic of Namibia, celebrates exceptional individuals going beyond expectations to safeguard tourists. Recognizing the collective efforts required to support the tourism industry, the campaign aims to acknowledge and reward those who are often overlooked who provide outstanding care for tourists and locals alike.
The rewards are either in-kind or in-cash, as the fund consists of N$1,000,000 (one million Namibia Dollars), with N$500,000 in cash and N$500,000 in-kind donations facilitated through the Gondwana Care Trust.
Left photo: Henk Mulder (Gondwana) with Kulelwa and Alpa from Katima Security Services
Right photo: Ndinelao Shikemeni (Gondwana; right) congratulating Toni Hart
Tourism Against Crime (TAC), represented by Mr Peter Boer, received the first Tourism Heroes in-cash reward for collaborative efforts with the Namibian Police in safeguarding tourists. Mariane Akwenye, a true heroine, demonstrated exceptional kindness during a challenging situation faced by a Swiss couple exploring Namibia. Her timely intervention and a 10-hour road trip to ensure the safety of stranded travellers showcase the spirit of Namibian hospitality and was rewarded in-kind. Toni Hart's commitment to safety extends beyond guided tours, as she actively engages and educates tourists through various Facebook groups. Her invaluable contributions earned her the title of a Tourism Hero, celebrated with an in-kind reward. Antje Rahn was honoured for exceptional support during crises and dedication to guest safety, with her reward contributing to the financing of a motorized gate at the Grootfontein Museum.
Left photo: Richard Mazulu (Gondwana) hands the Tourism Heroes Award to Bornface Masilani, Simushi Simwazi, Sabata Nelson and Sinvula Beaven
Right photo: Antje Rahn and a companion
Gratitude was expressed to individuals like Kapule Albert, Joseph Sabata, Charity Simataa, Richard Mazulu, Bornface Masilani, Simushi Simwazi, Sabata Nelson, and Sinvula Beaven for their vigilance and heroism in recovering stolen items near the Ngoma Border, receiving in-cash support. In addition, the Katima Security Services also successfully startled intruders at a lodge near Katima Mulilo and received an in-cash reward. Mbolokela Security, Matheus Washinana, and Mr Timothy Muyepekwa were acknowledged for their contributions to tourism safety and security, with two receiving well-deserved in-cash support and one receiving in-kind support.
Left photo: Joseph Sabata, Charity Simataa and Kapule Albert
Right photo: Ndinelao Shikemeni (Gondwana) presents Mariane Awenye with a certificate
In conclusion, the Tourism Heroes Campaign stands as a testament to the remarkable efforts of individuals who have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of tourists in Namibia. This campaign not only acknowledges these individuals but also emphasizes the importance of their contributions in making Namibia a safe and welcoming destination for all.
We invite everyone to nominate other Tourism Heroes who make a difference in our beautiful Namibia by sharing their stories via email: email@example.com.
Learn more about the campaign here: Tourism Heroes.