fbpx

What does it really feel like to be a Master Bartender?- We ask the instructors

written by Jeannette Musembi 11th June 2012

A few weeks after EABL’s MBA launch in  Nairobi, Yummy caught up with the two instructors from South Africa training the bartenders at the seminar for a one on one about what they do and who they really are. Here is what they had to say

 

Sifiso Maphanga

 

 

If you would describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Dynamic!

 

 

How did you get into the ‘bar scene’ (where it all started a bit of history)

My first experience behind the bar was helping a friend at a music festival in 2007. I had a blast, but didn’t follow through. Then later I watched a movie named Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise. I wanted to try out some of the stuff I saw in the movie, so I went on the net and started looking for a bar company in Johannesburg. I think I started looking while the credits were running after the movie.

 

 

Did you ever think you would be in your current profession…why?

Not at all! It was not even a possibility in my mind.

At the time I started in this profession, I was halfway through obtaining my degree in accounting sciences. I had my path set before I started in the bar industry.

However, even after I began working in the auditing profession, I simultaneously continued working in the bar industry… Look where I am today.

 

 

What are some of your most memorable achievements?

Some of my memorable achievements as a barman include doing cocktails and flair on some tv shows in South Africa and meeting some very interesting people at the events I’ve worked at, but this Kenyan experience is definitely at the top of my list.

 

 

How was the experience to hold such a seminar (MBA) in Kenya?

Overwhelming, challenging and humbling, but an incredible blessing!

 

Interacting with the MBA trainees during the seminars is very insightful, showing me the similarities and diverse characteristics we have as Africans. It has greatly enhanced my understanding and love for Kenya and its people.

 

I communicate with some of the participants of the Master Bar Academy  on Facebook. The interactions following our seminars are the humbling and satisfying parts. I’m passionate about empowering people, so it’s been great for me to know I’ve planted a seed that can make a difference in lives.

 

 

Do you think we (Kenyans) need to invest in more professionalism in our bars? Why?

We as Africans (in general) need to invest in more professionalism in our bars.

We are now living in a global era. Africa has growing significance in the global economy, so we need to reach (if not exceed) global standards in all spheres so that we can play our role effectively.

One thing I love about the Master Bar Academy is that it’s taking place throughout Africa and addresses this issue within its sphere of influence. This program equips people with the skills to make African bartenders leaders in the service industry.

 

 

What are some of the stuff you like doing when you’re not behind the counter?

When I’m not behind the bar I love reading, playing piano, business, finance, investment and just hanging out with those closest to me. My sister recently gave birth to twin girls, so they are getting a lot of my attention at the moment.

 

 

Pick a restaurant you like dining in Nairobi as well as your favorite cuisine to indulge in

Haven’t found myself a restaurant yet, but I’ve definitely been immersing myself in the local cuisine. I struggle to remember what everything is called, but I’m enjoying it so far.

 

 

Nkosana Ndlovu

If you would describe yourself in one word what would it be?

I am passionate with everything l do, especially when l am behind the bar.

 

 

Did you ever think you would be in your current profession…why?

 

When I started bartending, l never pictured myself being were l am today. When I started I didnt know that bartending was a career, l thought it was a part-time job for making extra cash, through training l received I learnt that bartending it is a career.

 

 

What are some of your most memorable achievements?

My most memorable achievements are when I appeared on national TV making cocktails and my promotion from bartender to manager (managing events).

 

In 2010, l appeared on the most popular talk show called 3 talk. In this show, it was a world cup campaign supporting the national team. We made cocktail with national team colours. In 2011, it was on another show promoting summer drinks (smoothies). The biggest of them all was when l was selected as one of the trainers for MBA.

This is a phenomenal experience to be part of MBA program me in Kenya. This gave the opportunity to share what l have learnt over the years with other bartenders and also to learn from them.

 

 

Do you think we (Kenyans) need to invest in more professionalism in our bars? Why?
Investing more in the bar industry will be a good move. There is great talent in Kenya and Bartenders need support, tools of trade, training, knowledge and most of all someone who will believe in them. This is a good career, not all of us do well at school but through bartending they can build a career and make a living and become entrepreneurs. This can create more job opportunities in the country.

 

 

What are some of the stuff you like doing when you’re not behind the counter?

If I am not behind the bar, l like spending time with family and friends.

 

 

How was the experience to hold such a seminar (MBA) in Kenya?

I am still touring nairobi and l have seen beautiful places. I know one of these restaurants will take my breath away.

You may also like

2 comments

kengeoffrey6@gmail.com'
Kenneth 4th March 2016 - 12:38 PM

I want to b trained way is the procedure

Reply
matt.thom06@gmail.com'
Matthew Thomson 20th September 2012 - 11:54 AM

the MBA is a good experience and even if you don’t get to number 1 the training and product knowledge you receive is very helpful and i am happy that i made it through to the 303 training in cape town and would like to thank the trainers very much as well as digeo and brandhouse

Reply

Leave a Comment