Ayabonga Makupula

Hi, my name is Ayabonga Makupula, I’m Restaurant & Bar Supervisor at The President Hotel. My love for wines began late after joining the Hospitality Industry, and that itself was quite some journey!

2019 Distell Inter Hotel Challenge Candidate: Ayabonga Makupula from The President Hotel
At first it was all about finding a job after finishing Matric that led me into hospitality and my very first job was at the Grand West Casino and Entertainment World. For two months I worked as a kitchen cleaner and fortunately for me the Banqueting Manager saw potential in me and took me through training to become a waiter and houseman. I conquered that as well and in just a few months I was sent to the Ciro Coffee Academy to learn how to make cappuccinos, café latte and espresso and by this time I was already working as a part time Barman whenever we had functions. It was then that I discovered the love I have for hospitality, the love of working with people from different backgrounds and different places. I worked under Banqueting from 2011 until 2014.

Mid 2014 until 2015 I moved to work at the Sanlam Head Offices for a company called Fedics, unfortunately that was not really what I was looking for. What I wanted was to see the joy in people’s faces, dealing with happy guests, that challenge of dealing with angry guests, I wanted that busy vibe atmosphere and unfortunately this position did not have that for me.

So in the same year, 2015, I had the opportunity to work at The President Hotel. It was here where my growth game became huge. Everyday there was something new for me to love and this is where I soon discovered the love I had for wine. Not only love for enjoying a glass of wine every now and the but the confidence of being able to serve and confidently be able to freely be able to up sell my wines. I have been introduced to the way of pairing food with wine by Mr Carl Davis whom soon became my mentor and coach. Up to this day there is always something new that he has to teach and I am learning even more from our popular monthly ‘Wine & Dines’ here at The President Hotel. This is my life, this is my destiny and I will always be grateful to each and every one who became part of my growth. Thank you!”