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From Utalii College to C.E.O. Sunbird Chain of hotels in Malawi

August 5, 2019
By
Lavender Amunga
for Chams Media Digital

Malawi is a beautiful country known for its friendly citizens and its extraordinary fresh water lake known as Lake Malawi. There are a good number of touristic attractions in Malawi including a branch of Sunbird Hotels and Resorts known as Sunbird Nkopola. Sunbird comprises 9 hotels, and it is here, at Sunbird, that the highlight of our show is today.

From Utalii College to C.E.O. Sunbird Chain of hotels in Malawi 1

Yusuf during the interview

Yusuf Olela was born in Karachuonyo Kanyaluo location in Homa Bay County and studied at Kisumu Day High School. He is a graduate of Kenya's Utalii College and explains that he had never envisioned heading such a big entity, away from his home country. He is also a graduate of Kenyatta University in hospitality management. After his diploma, his first job was in Mombasa as a trainee manager at Shelly beach before venturing into fast food as a shop manager. Later on, he rose through the ranks until area manager. Few years later, he went to Midland in Nakuru as a hotel manager after which he moved to Uganda. Eventually, when he returned back to Kenya, he worked as a group and sales manager for Kengeles then went to Tanzania as a general manager.

In later years, he again returned to his home country and worked as a banquet director to F&B, then came 2015 when he became the general manager when he moved to Addis Ababa.

From Utalii College to C.E.O. Sunbird Chain of hotels in Malawi 2

Sunbird Nkopola

Sunbird brand and popularity goes hand in hand with what Malawi is known for. "Malawi is very rich in culture. So we have invested in water sport activities because the lake offers opportunity." He explains that the people are also the biggest strength of the country. This is because they are very friendly and open minded. He says that it is the major reason why his family even agreed to move which him abroad since they enjoy the climate, the food, and most importantly the people.

From Utalii College to C.E.O. Sunbird Chain of hotels in Malawi 3

The Sunbird Resort at the lakeside

Yusuf believes that tourism on the continent will flourish if African countries remove trade barriers. He is also lear when he explains that dreams can be achieved from anywhere in the world.  "People must know that you are a brand on your own. Thus, you must take yourself out there and tell your story. And through that story you will inspire other people!"

From Utalii College to C.E.O. Sunbird Chain of hotels in Malawi 4

Yusuf Olela with his family

 

 

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