Words by Louisa Choruma
It’s the colleagues that work with a dream that make the best team players. Their dreams rub off on the rest of the pack, forging an inspired, successful unit! That was the effect Moses Mutapati had on a lot of us.
Co-running the food department at a 290 roomed property in a busy resort was hard work, but with the right team – many things became possible. Refusing to be limited to the kitchen, he was the Executive Chef, found in the Front of House – hosting and interacting with guests, leading the service staff briefings and chatting with the Accountant and Human Resources over budgets and staffing. Suppliers knew him more than the procurement department and the Guest Relations team always appreciated his problem-solving acumen! Fast forward to a decade later and Moses is still performing the same functions – just in his own capacity! Moses Mutapati is now a well-respected Hospitality Entrepreneur, making a name for himself with his growing hotel portfolio in Botswana.
Chef turned entrepreneur
Moses was drawn to Culinary Arts through his uncle who was an Executive chef with Cresta Hospitality in Zimbabwe. Initially keen on a technical career, all it took was a holiday watching his uncle at work and a part-time job at the then famous Harare Sheraton Hotel for Moses to know that he indeed had cooking hands!
Today, he muses at how people are both puzzled as much as they are pleasantly surprised upon discovery that he is a seasoned Chef who is now in entrepreneurship and business development. For him however, it was inevitable. Describing himself as a perfectionist, hands-on and invested in people – it was only natural that he would be inclined towards the spearheading of projects.
Moses loves beautiful places, spaces and things. He appreciates well-managed properties, from the exterior and the architecture, to the grounds and gardens, well maintained driveways, a welcoming reception and lobby, and the organisation of rooms and decoration in the lounge facilities. He credits his keen eye for detail, order and structure for propelling him to become an entrepreneur in his own right, citing how he simply loves running things.
His very first switch into the realm of entrepreneurship began in 2005, where he created the Botswana-based tourism publication – the Hotel and Catering magazine. Over the years his scope has broadened, leveraging his knack for finding opportunities and maximising on their potential into hotel property ownership and management in Botswana’s key tourism towns. Today, Moses prides himself in the ownership of The Stay Bridge Apartments and Suites, self-catering 3 star properties in Maun and Francistown as well as the Pomegranite Gold Resort & Spa, a mostly business hotel situated on a luxurious Golf Estate, 5 minutes from Francistown City centre.
The new kid on the block is the Staybridge GolfView Suites & Arirang Restaurant. A classic Korean themed Restaurant with an African & Western fusion cuisine and a cocktail bar. Moses describes the latest addition to his portfolio as a boutique style hotel boasting luxury rooms and excellent customer service.
A chef at heart with love for people
With his dream of one day owning a chain of hotels around the world – after first conquering Africa, Moses Mutapati the Chef and Hospitality entrepreneur describes the key attributes of a good chef as having passion, raw talent and the constant push to cook from the heart. He adds that the perfect recipe is when these traits are “coupled with the consistent desire to always make the guests happy through your food!’’
Moses is quick to remind friends of the precious memories of celebrities he has met during his illustrious career as a chef-turned entrepreneur, from meeting the Princess of Africa – Yvonne Chaka, to the late Great Oliver Mtukudzi, his favourite comedian Steve Harvey and two iconic Presidents - President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and the late former President of South Africa - Nelson Mandela!
A family man who loves Botswana, the culture and its people, Moses is enjoying his journey as a business leader and hopes to inspire others through his personal ad business mantras. In Moses’ words, “Keep doing what you believe. Some will take you seriously and others will not but keep going anyway.’’