The Two Oceans Aquarium has partnered with Mzukisi “Mzu” Lembeni, owner of iMzu Tours, to assist and mentor him in growing his business. Lembeni, who is a former employee of the Aquarium, is receiving input from the Aquarium’s senior management team in aspects such as financial management, marketing and communications, website design, and staff selection and employment. The Aquarium has also provided him with financial assistance.
Lembeni has a strong passion for tourism and started his career in the Cape Town tourism industry in 1998.
He worked in various hotels within Cape Town, the Two Oceans Aquarium, the Castle of Good Hope, as well as with the City Sightseeing operation. He received his tertiary education through the University of South Africa (Tour Operation Management) and also attended the College of Cape Town where he studied Tourism Management and Tour Operation. Mzu is also a qualified Western and Eastern Cape tour guide. On top of all of this, he is also a qualified magician! He believes that one should make your passion your career. Lembeni’s incredible passion for the townships and communities around Cape Town is the building block for his township tour business that he started in 2012 and in 2014 he published a book titled Introducing Cape Town’s Townships.
iMzu Tours takes interested parties on walking township tours through Khayelitsha. On these tours, visitors are introduced to the community on a personal basis. They are taken to visit various projects, a school, one of the local markets, a local shebeen and various other points of interest within the informal settlement. iMzu Tours also offers a special “Gospel Tour”, which includes a Sunday church service at one of the community churches.
Though Lembeni’s township tours are focused on taking tourists to experience the informal settlement, he very quickly realised that many Capetonians do not know their own city. He therefore also started to focus on the Cape Town youth and now organises tours and excursions for learners to enable them to learn about their city. “My vision is to uplift the importance of tourism in our communities, invest in education for our children by doing school tours and career orientation with us. I am willing to share my experience with school learners and share my business skills with young entrepreneurs like me," said Lembeni.
The Aquarium’s CEO, Dr Patrick Garratt, noted Lembeni’s commitment, passion and exceptional work ethic and identified him as the "perfect" candidate to support in terms of the Aquarium’s contribution towards enterprise development in South Africa. “It’s wonderful to be associated with Mzu. He has incredible drive and is passionate about his work and his community. I have no doubt that he will succeed in his endeavours and that he will be one of this country’s many success stories”, said Garratt.