• Walking Tours, Historical, V&A, Tourist Guide, Robben Island Ferry
    Khaya, Lead Tourist Guide
  • Museum Guided Tour, Lester Wakens and Guest
    Lester, Museum Guide
  • Tourist Guide, Youth Development, Intern, V&A Waterfront,
    Bongi, Tourism Intern (CPUT)
  • Abe Julian Beukes CPUT Tourism Intern Chavonnes Battery
    Julian, Tourism Graduate (CPUT)
  • Batini Lupindo CPUT Tourism Intern Chavonnes Battery
    Batini, Tourism Graduate (CPUT)

Lilizela Awards 2015: Culture Guide - Thandikaya's nomination VOTE below

Posted by Dale on Tue April 14, 2015 in The characters.

Ready for #WTM Africa in ‪#‎CapeTown.‬ Find us at the #Wesgro stand. Wish us luck!

Travel shows are exciting experiential learning opportunities for aspiring Tourism role-players, the team have polished their shoes and practiced their "pitch".

Thandikhaya Tsondwa our Lead Tourist Guide is taking the lead on this project as part of his development plan. We have nominated Khaya for a Lilizela Award, below is the application.


Thandikhaya has been the site specific tourist guide at the Chavonnes Battery Museum for the past 3 years, he conducts tours of the Museum and the V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tour.

Thandikhaya dresses in period costume of a 17th Century soldier which makes the experience unique allowing you to time-travel as he tells you the stories of the people and events that gave birth to the Cape and why the harbor was built and how that evolved into the V&A Waterfront.

What makes Thandikhaya special is that he has woven his traditional Xhosa heritage into the narrative he shares, giving true meaning to Cultural Tourism. Below are some reviews to motivate his nomination.

..."We were one of the millions of visitors enjoying The V&A Waterfront. Lot's of shops, great restaurants, boat rides and attractions. Surprisingly one of our favorite place was The Chavonnes Battery Museum. South Africa is such a diverse country and learning about the city’s historic harbor was fascinating.

The best part was the walking tour, we stopped at many landmarks that we would not have noticed on our own. Not only was our guide Thandikhaya well informed and articulate, he also had a great sense of humor. Our guide was passionate about his subject, he made the history of the area and the people who lived there come alive for us.

I did the tour with my friend but this could also be a great tour with children. Hiring a guide, which is a small fee for international visitors, is a perfect way to help young people earn money..." (Soleil - Cape Town SA: Trip Advisor Review September 2014) 

Dr HM Du Preez has spent many years researching Dr James Barry (who spent time at the Chavonnes Battery) and written numerous articles and papers culminating in a book that is about to be published. Dr Du Preez visited with our lead Tourist Guide Thandikhaya Tsondwa today researching the torture treadmill which is one of the 22 historical points of interest on the V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tour, and this is what he had to say...

"...Dear Dale,
I can honestly say that the couple of hours I spent with your Thandikhaya was one of the most interesting, informative and pleasant guided tours I have ever had. The man is a gem, and you must be very proud of him and his achievements.

I do believe that the treadmill is one of the three that Lord Charles Somerset installed in the old Tronk. The overall dimension accords with the description of Teenstra, and it is obviously very old. I cannot say if the two vertical divisions were a later modification, but I think that likely.

I shall attach an image of a contemporary treadmill in Jamaica.
It was kind of you to help me in this way, and I enjoyed the visit immensely.

With my very best wishes..."
Michael du P..." (March 2015)

..."That is certainly very good to hear. Please congratulate Thandikhaya for me as well – it is rare to find someone with a real natural aptitude for this work, but he is one of them, and he really works at it...." (Willem Steenkamp response to the above feedback)

..."My daughter (14) and myself booked yesterday spontaneously the historical walking tour - we walked by the museum, saw the sign and walked in. I was very pleased about the flexibility and kindness of your staff. Although no other tourists showed up your guide was willing to do the tour. We walked about 2 hours, he showed us the sites, gave fascinating and interesting facts. So we had a very nice time and I wanted to thank you and your staff..." (Kirstin - Germany: Letter of thanks to V&A, December 2014)

Thandikhaya hails from humble but proud beginnings in the Eastern Cape which makes him determined and committed to his future. Since joining the museum in June 2012 he has completed a one year General Management Learnership, a Customer Care Certification, an Introduction to Business Management and numerous short courses including digital marketing and HR.

He eagerly approaches any opportunity to gain more knowledge during training and mentoring sessions with Willem Steenkamp (Historian and author of 19 published books). He is willing to ask if he is unsure and although reading is not his favorite past time, he diligently reads all the old books about the History of Cape Town and South Africa.

His easy going nature is very endearing and he is often invited to lunch with guests after he conducts the V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tour with them.

He enthusiastically attends any Tourism industry event and last year when he attended the Lilizela Awards, the next day he said to me,... "One day I want to be the one going up to fetch the award" Khaya's long term plan is to open a Cultural Village Tourist Attraction on his ancestral land near Queenstown, we are assisting him gain the experience and knowledge to be an entrepreneur while he continues to save money, his short term goal is to get his drivers license.

Ready for WTM Africa in ‪#‎CapeTown.‬ Big thanks to CTFM V & A Waterfront for sponsoring brochures.