We caught up with three of our longest serving staff members: Dysan, Maril and our Mama Rose share their fond memories of the last 15 years.
Affectionately known to all in the HOA building, and to everyone who visits for a meeting as ‘Mama Rose’, Rosemary has worked with Simbithi since the very beginning. In her 15th year with the Estate, Mama Rose is a permanent fixture at the HOA.
“I remember when I started at Simbithi. I was a little bit afraid, but everyone made me feel very welcome.”
Mama Rose takes the greatest pride in keeping the offices, and boardrooms at SEEHOA clean. She is also an absolute whizz at making the best tea and coffee, ever! Somehow, even in a management meeting, or a boardroom full of people: Mama Rose manages to bring everyone their favourite beverage in their favourite mug, with the correct amount of sugar. “That is my favourite part!”
Building Control Manager
As Marilene, better known to most as Maril, looks back on the 14 years she has been here on Simbithi, she is overwhelmed.
“I look back at the developer’s vision of turning a 430ha sugarcane farm into the remarkable, well-managed residential Estate it is today. It has been an incredible journey so far.”
Maril fondly recalls the day of her interview in December 2005, which took place in a tiny site container along Shaka’s Rock Main Road, surrounded by dense vegetation. “I sat there wondering why anyone would actually want to live in a place like that!” The HOA, as Maril remembers, began humbly with just four staff members working out of a container. “It has been hard work and perseverance and I’ve seen developers, staff and Board members change over the years. We have welcomed residents and have had to say goodbye to some. I have learnt so much in my time here. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some really incredible people along the way. Being in this industry, you meet a variety of people and I could write a book with some of my experiences (but I will save that for another time!)
The most special part of Maril’s journey has been forming a part of the process of every build on Simbithi: from her initial position as Building Control Assistant, to Assistant Building Control Manager and now Building Control Manager. “I am so proud of the product we are building. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Simbithi a happy 15th birthday. Here’s wishing you many more fantastic years as we continue on this amazing journey.”
Dysan first drove onto Simbithi in July, 2005, and remembers admiring the open spaces: just a few homes in sight. “I felt so good knowing that this was the place I was going to start my responsibility of introducing new security measures. There was a buzz of activity with sales agents and prospective purchasers excitedly visiting and choosing the best sites and views. Security was one of the main reasons why people invested in Simbithi, hence my task to continually improve and maintain a high standard was critically for the development of Simbithi. Meeting and welcoming new homeowners, their families, conducting the induction process was interesting, as I got to meet our new community members.”
Much like Maril’s, Dysan’s first meeting with Iain Laing was in a mobile office, where the Tamboti sectional title development how stands. At that time, the HOA had five staff members, each of whom welcomed Dysan warmly. Only Ballito and South Gate existed, and there was not yet a perimeter fence on phases two and four (northern half).
With Laing and the Developer’s Project Team, Dysan started the journey of implementing new security processes and technology: moving from the manual gate access control to the electronic (biometric) system was an integral part of the security improvement.
“As the resident population grew on the Estate, seeing all those furniture removal trucks arrive, knowing that families were living in a safe environment made me feel proud. My officers at the gates happily greeting residents by their names and the positive response were all signs of a happy community. My team started to build a lovely relationship with the community from helping a resident change a punctured tyre, locating a lost pet to a courtesy call when a member of the family was ill.”
Dysan’s funniest memory was when he responded to a house call: “the resident and I walked through the garden. I yanked on a handle of what I assumed was the door: the next thing I was sprayed with water from a shower! We both had a laugh. I am not going to forget this moment.”
Take care, be safe and secure.