By Emily Setona
KESTELL – A crowd of affluent and immaculately dressed guests were treated to live jazz performances at the grand opening of the Kestell Hotel on December 2 as the new owner Elijah Sigasa shared this wonderful moment with the community of Kestell.
Sigasa is the first black person to own a Kestell hotel in Kestell and he expressed his pride and enthusiasm for this new business venture as he shared his vision in an interview with The Guard.
“I bought this hotel because I want to uplift the community of Kestell and I want to create employment.
“My vision is to uplift this community so that Kestell can return to its former glory, and to create jobs for the local people. The value and state of the hotel was very poor, so I had to make some renovations.”
According to Moses Moloi who has been part of the renovation team when the hotel’s revamping began a month ago, they have retained much of the hotel’s original aesthetic features for a vintage look and feel.
“I am very happy about today because the community of Kestell is going to get a much-needed economic boost through job creation, and the guests who will be visiting the hotel,” Moloi said in an interview with this publication.
As part of community development and uplifting local talent, Sigasa invited a local youth band to perform their contemporary jazz tunes. Kestell Backyard band is made up of five members and they kept the audience entertained until international guest artist Bhudaza Mapefane of Lesotho graced the stage and treated the audience to a wonderful jazz performance.
Susan Swarts staff member at the Kestell Hotel alongside Phumzile Sigasa daughter to Elijah Sigasa the new hotel owner.
The Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality (TMDM)’s department of local economic development (LED) and tourism assisted with the requirements necessary for grading the hotel so it can comply with the tourism grading council.
“As the manager of the district’s department of LED and tourism, when I heard that Sigasa was the new owner of the Kestell Hotel I assisted him to get his establishment up to the required standards.
“I’ve assisted him to recruit professional chefs and will take him step by step to get his hotel to a very high standard,” Thembi Mlotha told The Guard.