Diversity and Inclusion at AX Group

My name is Simbarashe Mapfumo. I am 27 years old and I come from Zimbabwe. I arrived in Malta in December 2018 after living in Cape Town for five years, where I also worked in hospitality.

I fled my beloved Zimbabwe due to the unstable political situation. I miss my country and my family deeply, but unfortunately going back is not an option. I settled in South Africa and when my work permit expired, I came to Malta. I now eagerly await my clearance for asylum from the Refugee Commission.

I actually studied computer engineering but I fell in love with the hospitality industry from the time of my very first job in a restaurant. Since then, I never looked back! Something about giving a great service and making a customer happy is very rewarding for me. I have worked in restaurants, cafes and hotels doing different service jobs, from waitressing to being a front desk agent. In all instances, knowing I am the reason for making customers happy at the moment, is most satisfying.

I’m always asked the same question: ‘Why Malta? So far away from home and without a family network to support me?’ Well, from my extensive research, Malta seemed to be a homely place with a strong sense of community, where people are friendly and English widely spoken.

And indeed, not only have I not been disappointed, but Malta has also surpassed all my expectations in every way imaginable! Malta has become my home away from home. The Maltese society has redefined my notion of family. I have found true friends, supportive colleagues and warm neighbours. I have since changed the way I view the world while still nurturing my sense of self-identity. And my hope for humanity has been revitalised through the numerous positive experiences I have had since my arrival.

I have been fortunate enough to be employed as a front desk agent at AX The Palace since January 2019. Fortunate because I have been given the chance to be the best I can be, by playing with the best the local industry has to offer, surrounded by a winning team determined to deliver service excellence with creativity, determination and integrity.

Being part of AX Hotels has exposed me to unlimited possibilities for my career growth. Professional mentoring and guidance from management has brought out my best skills and capabilities. Ongoing training has helped me bring out my talents and I’m mastering the mindset required for giving a service expected from a five-star hotel.

My aspiration is now to eventually hold a management position within my field of expertise. I would then pass on the leadership values I have learnt and put them to good use, ultimately always to the service of guests and customers.

I’m currently being trained as a night manager. This is a big step for me, and one which I’m really excited about. It is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for and I’m eager to prove myself worthy of this responsibility. Once again, I know it will be one step towards my long-term goals and I look forward to any opportunity for exposure in other areas of hospitality in this five-star establishment.

I love my job and my workplace and every day I go to work safely in the knowledge that I am accepted, in an ambience of diversity and mutual respect of different cultures.