December 1st 2010 was an important day for the traders in Warwick Junction. Friends, family members and colleagues came to celebrate the achievements made by eight Warwick Junction traders who had completed a rigorous training programme to become the first local tour guides for the Markets of Warwick Tour.
When the Markets of Warwick Tour project was initiated in time for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa, it was clear that the best tour guides who would be able to guide and showcase their markets to the tourists would be the traders themselves. The Markets of Warwick Traders Committee, with the assistance of NGO Asiye eTafuleni (AeT), made this possible. A selection criterion was discussed and agreed by the committee and as a result, a trader was selected from each market to attend a tour guide training programme through the KZN Tourism Training Centre.
The programme ran for three months and now eight traders and two AeT staff members are fully qualified professional Tour Guides. On this day they were sitting up front, dressed in professional black, to receive their formal tour guide qualifications.
KZN Tourism Training Centre course instructor Shamla Moodley praised the hard work and dedication shown by the students: “When I speak about dedication to my future students, I will tell them about this group here… you are inspiring”, she said during the speech she gave on the day.
The graduation ceremony had a number of speakers, including representatives from the Markets of Warwick Traders Committee, Masibambane Traders Organization (MATO), South African Self Employed Women Association (SASEWA), and Traders Against Crime (TAC). Khulekani Mbonambi from Ntandokazi Tours spoke about the opportunities the new tour guides could seek with their new qualifications. Ward Councilor Vusi Khoza led the room in song and then spoke about the important impact tour guides have in marketing the City of Durban, and also being ambassadors of this country.
Deputy City Mayor Logie Naidoo presented the tourism qualification certificates to the new tour guides. Each presentation was met with cheers and the ceremony ended joyously with singing and dancing.