South African Airways (SAA) celebrated Nigeria’s 58th Independence anniversary at the Arrows of God Orphanage in Lagos by donating food materials and goodie bags to the children of the home.
As part of the airline’s commitment to Nigeria and the less privileged, SAA donated customised cake, gift bags, drinks, noodles and other food stuffs to the Arrows of God Orphanage to ensure the children of the home are not left out of the celebration mood of the Nigerian nation as it clocks 58 year of Independence.
Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, South African Airways National Sales Manager in Nigeria led the staff of the airline to share the joy and hope of Nigeria’s Independence with the orphans.
“As part of our corporate social responsibility and giving back to the people, we are celebrating Nigeria’s 58th Independence Day with our long-time friends at the Arrows of God Orphanage. We are optimistic and committed to the Nigerian market and will continue to provide necessary support accordingly,” Kemi stated.
The National Sales Manager used the occasion to announce SAA will continue to prioritise the Nigerian market as it marks the milestone of 20 years of service in Nigeria this year.
The children and teachers of the Orphanage expressed their appreciation to the SAA team for their continuous support in putting smiles on the faces of the children always.
Recall that South African Airways began flight service between Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa in December 1998.
In support of Small and Medium Scale Business in the Travel Industry in Nigeria, South African Tourism (SAT) partnered with South African Airways (SAA) and the Sun International (SI) to give 9 small and upcoming travel agents (trade) executives an opportunity to explore South Africa and have their products at a Brand Expo which took place on 29th & 30th June 2018 at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The 9 travel agencies taken on the trip includes Crew Training Institute, Greater View Travels, Saffron Travels, Apeiron Travels, Vectra Travels, Foshizi Tours, Teeysz Tours, Akenn Tours and Nje Tours.
Taking off in the brand new South African Airways Airbus A330-300 series from Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos and led by Trade Relations Manager, South African Tourism West Africa, Mr Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa and Mrs Motunrayo Ajomale of South African Airways Nigeria, the trade executives were prepped ahead of the two-week power packed and exciting trip to South Africa. Arriving at the O.R Tambo International Airport in the early hours of the 2nd of August, the travel agents were whisked off on a 30-minute drive to the Maslow Hotel in the heart of Sandton.
While SAA was responsible for providing the flight to South Africa, Sun International provided the befitting accommodation at Maslow for the travel agents and SAT provided the experiences & ground logistics throughout their stay in South Africa. The experiences were specially curated to give the agents a chance to experience that culture and the variety of memorable attractions that South Africa offers in & around Gauteng (Johannesburg & Pretoria) & North West (Sun City) provinces which was the coverage area of the fam trip while they sell the beautiful country as a top travel destination.
Unaware of the many robust attractions and world-class locations in South Africa, many tour operators have been limited in offering South Africa as a potential holiday destination to their clients due to negative mind-sets about the country. Through the hosting, the travel agents who went on the trip were able to see a different side of South Africa and also experience the warmth and diversity of her people. From the visit to the Lesedi Cultural Village to the trip to Soweto, home of the legend, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the travel agents had an opportunity to interact with South Africans who welcomed them with warm smiles and were also eager to share their culture with them. At the Lesedi Cultural Village, less than one-hour drive from Jo-burg, they encountered people of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Ndebele and Basotho origin. From listening to individual cultural stories of the people, to tours of the local houses, the travel agents received a fuller picture of the South African heritage.
While exploring top tourist destinations like Gold Reef City theme park and Sun City Resort, a world-class resort that offers a wide variety of hotels, attractions and events, including the luxurious Palace of the Lost City where they stayed, the travel agents were also able to witness, first-hand, the fun side of South Africa. Boasting of many top tourist attractions with exciting activities, South Africa is a place to go and let your hair down, either alone or with family or friends. Individually or in a group, South Africa has something for everyone. There are also a wide variety of activities from mountain climbing to zip lining to suit different interests and passions. The travel agents were able to take part in these activities as they continued to explore South Africa during their the one-week visit.
Aside from the places visited and the activities they were involved in, the trade had a taste of indigenous South Africa food bursting with flavours and richness in palate. At Maboneng, which boasts of a wide selection of restaurants and artistic stores for visitors to enjoy, the trade tucked into sumptuous meals and they also had an opportunity to experience foot tour of the artistic environment, South African style.
Seeing the beauty in the natural landscape in South Africa while taking a tour of Johannesburg, the trade was convinced that South Africa is the top travel destination which everyone should experience. Conversations throughout the trip was centered around building the capacity of the trade and giving inputs to help them scale their travel business and offer competitive services to their clients.
According to Victoria, MD, Akenn Travels, “This was a huge privilege given us even as a relatively new business, we have taken this with both hands and commit to delivering on the purpose for which this hosting was put together.” while Ms Tina Tinachi, MD, Nje Tours says “The trip was amazing, fun & informative”
On a similar note, Mrs Folasade Adegboyega of Apeiron Travel & Tours confessed “I have been to SA a couple of times, but this experience was exceptional. There was so much to do & see that time didn’t permit us. South Africa is an AMAZING destination. I will sure visit & sell again and again.”
With South Africa as a top travel destination in their minds, the travel agents now understand the key highpoints of the country that their clients must encounter. What better way to sell a location as a potential holiday destination than to have first-hand experience of the fullness of what the location has to offer? The travel agents ended the tripped equipped to increase and diversify their offerings to their clients and curate the best experiences in the travel packages they offer to them.
It was a delightful experience for all attendees at the 14th AKWAABA African Travel Market held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos from the 9th to the 11th of September 2018.
AKWAABA – African Travel market is the biggest Travel & Tourism Show in West Africa hosting exhibitors and buyers to meet with airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, state tourism boards, foreign trade and tourism sectors from over 20 countries in Africa and the UAE.
Making a mark this year at AKWAABA was South African Tourism, with its alluring and fascinating destination stand where it engaged with Trade, Consumers and Exhibitors alike, sharing information on the amazing offerings the destination has to offer in line with the focus of the event for this year 2018 which included; introducing and encouraging African tour operators who promote African destinations to Africans, growing future of Aviation in Africa, showcasing wining and dining as a key element of tourism through food fair, wedding destinations, SPA and Wellness across Africa and engaging youths in Africa Tourism & Travel.
At the opening, Trade Relations Manager: West Africa for South African Tourism, Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa received the DG, Nigerian National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Chief Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who declared the exhibition open alongside other top dignitaries from across the continent at the South African Tourism Destination Stand. The DG expressed his admiration saying “We are very proud of South Africa as they made the whole of Africa proud during the World Cup 2010 as the first African Country to host the World Cup”
One of the key game changer at Akwaaba Travel Market this year was the inclusion of the Local & Small scale Tour Operators & Travel Agents to exhibit as it attracted more foot fall from their own clients & followers.” Kwajaffa extended a huge appreciation to the founder of AKWAABA, Mr. Ikechi Uko for organizing a good event this year and also thanked Stakeholders from National Association of Nigeria travel Agency, Nigeria Association of Tour Operators & Tour Operators of Ghana who visited the stand to show their continued support and partnership “this gave us opportunity to showcase destination South Africa to more than the usual clientele hence reaffirming SAT’s commitment to supporting such initiatives & activities in the market. Congratulations to all the award winners of the Top 100 Africa Tour Operators and the organizers for a well-organized event – he further said.
Also in attendance, NANTA BOT Chairman, Mr Steve Isokarie, NATOP President, Hajiya Bilikisu Abdul, FTAN President, Alhaji Rabo Kareem, HATMAN President, Mr Badaki Aliyu Ajayi, NANTA National VP, Mrs Susan, NANTA VP Lagos Zone, Mrs Lola Adewale, NANTA VP Western Zone, Mr Dagunduro Tokumbo all of Nigeria and from Ghana TOUGHA President, Mr Kwesi Eyison, GHATOF Rep, Mr Ahmed Naaman, and celebrities such as Ghanaian famous actor, Van Vicker and Nigeria’s famous Singer, Producer, Actor, Banky W, resounding Nigerian Contemporary Vocalist & Chanter, Ire ‘D’ Stage Diva and many more who visited the South African Tourism destination stand.
AKWAABA was a valuable opportunity for the African Trade Market to network and discuss, trade businesses with others across the continent.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Commission for Africa held its 61st Regional Tourism Conference in Abuja, capital of Nigeria between June 4 and 5, 2018. The South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Andre Hanekom, who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, was one of the more than 20 ministers and 500 delegates from 34 countries who attended the conference.
On the 6th of June 2018, the minister, on his way back to South Africa, stopped by in Lagos and hosted some members of the media, trade &and other stakeholders to an exclusive dinner at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The South African Tourism Trade Relations Manager (West Africa), Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa, who stood in for the Hub Head, Mr. Hloni Pitso, who was on study leave at the time, welcomed the guests and introduced the Minister and his wife as well the Consul General of South Africa in Lagos, Ambassador Darkey Africa, who accompanied the Minister to the dinner.
The honourable minister, underscoring the pivotal position that Nigeria occupies in South Africa’s tourism marketing plan as well as the historical bond between West Africa and South Africa, opened the discussions. He requested for an open and transparent dialogue on the tourism sector with focus on the flow of traffic between West Africa and South Africa.
Guests enjoyed a savoury South African inspired three-course dinner, though the Minister had insisted on a local Nigerian dish. Going by the pleasant experiences and stories shared across the table that night, it was unanimous that South Africa is a world-class tourism destination, rich in taste, culture and experiences.
However, the major trust of contributions made by the majority of the media and key trade travel partners at the dinner centered on the recurring challenges that applicants encounter when processing South African visa.
Responding, the minister assured all present that considering the importance of the West African market to South African Tourism, a lot was already being done to address the issue.
He said: “We are fully aware of the situation and have set several things in motion to ease the processing of South African Visa in Nigeria. We are working towards eventually having an e-visa regime. We want to modernize the systems and ease the burdens. We are also working on a way of using the fact that someone has a valid visa of countries like USA, U.K. on his or her passport etc. as a criteria to speed up the visa application process for such a person.”
In his contribution, Ambassador Darkey Africa, said as a consulate they were also aware of the visa situation and on their part, they are working determinedly with their colleagues in the Home Affairs Ministry in South Africa to ensure that Nigerians enjoy better and more seamless regime of processing South African visa at the shortest possible time.
He, however, advised that applicants should always submit their applications on time and with the appropriate supporting documents as this will make it easier for the process to be more seamless for everyone’s good. The need for more socio-cultural exchanges between South Africa and the countries in West Africa was suggested by Mr. Obinna Emelike of The Business Day Newspaper and it was generally agreed that such exchanges will go a long way to strengthen the historical bond between South Africa and West Africa.
One of the major highlights of the evening was the appreciation expressed by Nigeria travel agents to Ambassador Darkey Africa for the open-door policy that he had operated since his assumption of office and the very kind gestures that he has continued to express towards the travel agents in Nigeria. The Nigerian tour operators also presented Mr. Hanekom with a Nigerian artifact.
In closing, Minister Hanekom called for greater regional cooperation and for Africans to work together to ensure ease of travel and the continued growth of tourism across the continent. He also promised that the short visa duration currently being given to frequent travellers will be looked into and reviewed. Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa gave a vote of thanks and the dinner was brought to an end, after which group pictures were taken with the ever cheerful Mr. Derek Hanekom and his wife.
South African Airways (SAA) Africa’s most awarded airline has urged corporate travel managers in Nigeria to take advantage of the airline’s incredible new Voyager – SAA frequent flyers’ reward system in flying from Lagos to Johannesburg, South Africa and beyond.
South African Airways recently held a Corporate Travel Managers forum in Lagos during which Kemi Leke-Bamtefa, National Sales Manager, South African Airways explained the new Voyager reward system to credit passengers with miles based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class.
According to Kemi, “South African Airways is always prioritising the welfare of its passengers hence, our new Voyager reward is now based on the amount of airfare and fuel levy rather than the travel distance or cabin class. For every N48 you spend flying South African Airways, you are guaranteed 1 Mile.”
“In addition, South African Airways also offer corporate travel managers super corporate deals up to 14% with seamless upgrades, priority boarding, priority waitlist and lounge access as part of the many rewards attached,” Kemi added.
South African Airways opened its doors for corporate travel managers to leverage the incredible advantage of flying the airline through either a tripartite partnership which involves the airline, the corporate and a travel management company or otherwise a direct partnership between the airline and the corporates.
The airline reminded the corporates aside flying the Lagos-Johannesburg route with the new A330-300 aircraft with exceptional configurations in both the Business and Economy cabins, passengers do not also require transit visa travelling beyond South Africa to other Southern Africa countries including Mauritius, Maputo, Harare and more where South African Airways has route network.
Sulyman Akinwande of South African Airways Cargo, a subsidiary of South African Airways highlighted the functions of SAA Cargo to include the air freight of general, specialised cargoes and courier services from Lagos across the world.
Mohammed Kwajaffa, Trade Relations Manager, West Africa at South African Tourism showcased South Africa as a fun and adventurous destination rated as the 5th most beautiful country in the world by a recent international ratings report.
South African Airways presented amazing rewards to corporates at the forum which includes a Business Class ticket and free upgrade from Economy to Business Class from Lagos to any destination in South Africa.
Recently, a delegation from South Africa’s Kaya 95.9 FM visited Nigeria in what CEO Greg Maloka described as “a bid to know our backyard a little better.” Maloka and his team spent the better part of a week in Lagos where among other activities, they were hosted to lunch at the Lagos Motorboat Club, Ikoyi, by the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation’s ‘Tour Nigeria’ brand.
Kaya FM is the biggest independent radio station in Guateng, South Africa’s most populous province which includes Johannesburg, Pretoria and other cities, and reflects the experiences of the predominantly black, urban listener between the ages 25 to 49 living in the province.
The decades-long apartheid policy previously practiced by European minorities in South Africa meant the country was isolated from the comity of nations including neighboring African countries for years.
So despite over two decades of democratic rule, the process of assimilation for South Africa and its citizens into the international is still ongoing. Currently, many South Africans still say they are “going to Africa” whenever they step out of their borders and travel to neighboring countries.
According to Maloka, “To accept you’re part of a continent, you need to understand the continent not just by geography, but its heart.”
And rather than depend on Western media for news and happenings in Nigeria, the Kaya FM team decided to discover Nigeria by themselves and give first-hand information to their considerably large base of listeners.
With one million weekly views on Youtube, Kaya FM is in a great position to help advance South Africa’s integration with the rest of the continent.
“Our responsibility is to shape people’s opinions and where there is prejudice, to change people’s opinion as well. We are here in Nigeria to see things through our own eyes , I mean African eyes . We do not want to report from the colonial eyes which has been the order of the day and which is not only subjective, but only sees and magnifies the amenable negative occurrences in Nigeria.’’ Maloka revealed.
Already, there’s a healthy business relationship between Nigeria and South Africa, with many South African brands now household names in Nigeria. On the leisure front however, the trend has been for Nigerian travellers to explore the tourism attractions that the South African economy hugely benefits from. Our organisation was endeared to Nigeria by the professional approach adopted by the Director – General , NTDC , Mr Folarin Coker at selling Nigeria and placing her tourism potentialities on the international market with territorial finesse , African cosmopolitanism as regards identity appreciation and sincerity of purpose through its successful Tour Nigeria brand.
However, the visit of Kaya FM executives is an indication that South Africans are curious about – and willing to explore – Nigeria and its unique culture expressed through film, music, art, fashion, food and more. This coincides with a renewed drive by the Nigerian government to explore tourism as a vehicle for economic empowerment.
“We were able to venture out by ourselves. This is not such a structured visit,” Maloka explained against the backdrop of negative perceptions regarding security peddled by some sections of the Western media.
“A lot of South Africans are coming on a steady basis and are clued into the vibrancy of Lagos,” he explained going further to enunciate the team’s appreciation for Nigeria’s culinary offerings, including the sumptuous dishes on offer at the Boat Club.
There was a special mention for the Nok by Alara restaurant in Victoria. The team was so impressed, they had to go back for more.
Reflecting on the uniqueness of Africa’s most populous country, Maloka noted that “everything in Nigeria is Nigerian” and the citizens need to be proud of that. “If you ask a South African what is really South African, we struggle.”
Leading on from that, the team was asked to point out the uniquely Nigerian attributes that would attract a tourist from South Africa.
“I am no tourism expert but what I would say is that we have an opportunity to create a totally new way of selling Africa,” Maloka proffered.
“If we take the Western way which has always been in existence, we are not going to win because it isn’t our system and because it is infrastructure based, like selling a beach, selling a hotel, selling tangible things that people touch and feel.
Mr Maloka said that Kaya FM, South – Africa ‘Is creating an intra-continental business tourism unity and relationship which will be a win – win for the two countries
“It will be very difficult to sell infrastructure. What we have to sell is the soul of a place. How do you package the soul of a nation and present it? I don’t want to come to Nigeria to come and view the buildings, or drive on the highways but I want to come to Nigeria because I want to be Nigerian for a week.
“I want to leave with a new name like ‘Oga Chairman’. I want to leave with new clothes (I had these made here). I want to leave with new friends, new memories. If I meet anyone of you anywhere in the world, I need to be able to be Nigerian with you because I have lived with you, rather than visit your infrastructure.”
For him and the rest of the team, leaving with the conversations, with dance, with music, with culture, with artefacts, are the things that make memories indelible.
There is a thirst for more things Nigerian in South Africa, according to the delegation. So despite Nigerian music ruling the airwaves in South Africa, there’s room for more.
“We play a lot more Nigerian music now than we did before. We’ve played so much of it, we’ve started to want something else within the Nigerian space. For instance, I want the jazz scene of Nigeria. I don’t know it.
“If I represent a station like Kaya that has jazz as its essence, and someone from New York came to me and said, ‘tell me what the Nigerian jazz scene is like’, I would be lost. We would like to see other forms and other genres of music from Nigeria.”
The Kaya tour of Lagos could not have come at the better time, ahead of the Christmas celebrations which Lagos – the entertainment capital of Africa – is famous for. With conducive weather in December and a medley of concerts featuring Nigeria’s topmost entertainers (who also double as the continent’s leading lights), December is a great time for other African’s to feel the city’s pulse.
David O’Sullivian, a member of Kaya’s delegation to Nigeria said; “We are here on a voyage of discovery, a voyage of obtaining firsthand information for a better perspective. A voyage that will lead to perception modification and correction. We are committed to ensure a phenomenal rise, leap and increase in tourists’ traffic from South – Africa to Nigeria. We want to reverse the Nigeria – visit South – Africa without a corresponding positive story of South – Africans visit Nigeria . This is unbalanced cultural – economic scenario which cannot foster sustainable and lasting economic relationship and brotherhood hood between the two countries.’’
Brenda Modibane, the station’s Business Development and Marketing Manager, pointed out: “From my short stay in Nigeria, it is evident that South–Africans have a lot to see, to gain and to learn from Nigeria . Our incursion into this wonderful country is an eye opener to the vast opportunities open for South – Africans which we shall properly market to them.”
The Director General of the NTDC, Folorunso Folarin-Coker said “It takes a great mind to understand the socio-cultural international conspiracy against Africa which is being perpetrated through some intercontinental mega media. It is also a matter of great valour for another media giant to rise swiftly and embark on positive intra-continental perception reengineering that is of sustainable mutual benefit.
“On this, I give a warm African kudos and salute to Kaya FM 95.9 for rising stoutly in a rare Pan African information balancing stride between two most distinguished African countries,’’ he said.
He revealed that ‘Tour Nigeria’ was as a result of a painstaking deliberation and deep thinking of how best to enhance and add value to domestic tourism and thankful that Tour Nigeria has not only been embraced by Nigerians, but has been acknowledged internationally. I assure you of our impregnable and profitable support by opening and oiling the corridor of tourism business network , collation of meetings , facilitation of constructive interaction with sectoral leaders of thought and means , movers of the creative industry , leaders of night factories and those whose business and concerns will be of interest to South–Africans.”