“I think the best role models for women are people who are fruitfully and confidently themselves, who bring light into the world,” said Meryl Streep, uttering words that so perfectly describe the character of Aggie Maseko Banda, our role model and “Island Queen”.
Lodge Manager at Royal Chundu, Aggie is a lady with as much grace and warmth as strength and command. I sat down to experience the tasting menu on the island one night, under the embrace of the ink black sky, with Aggie as my chaperone. A few minutes in her sphere and my city energy had dissolved, my stresses and uncertainties vanished. There is something restorative about her spirit, a sense of “coming home” in it that draws you in.
Find out more about our Island Queen in this short Q&A below. And tell us… what defines a good role model to you?
1. What do you love most about working at Royal Chundu?
Interacting with people from all over the globe, there is not a single day that passes without learning something new or different.
2. How and when did you start working here?
5th July 2012 – it was love at first sight. I knew that this was it, I had to work here, and to date, I have not a single regret. I am happy, very happy, and look forward to many more happy years here.
3. Describe Royal Chundu in three words.
Haven of tranquility
4. What’s your greatest memory from your time here?
Being promoted from Island Lodge Supervisor to Lodge Manager. It made me feel that my efforts were recognised. I love my work and I would do anything to make the guests happy. I always go the extra mile!
5. What’s the craziest thing that has happened on your watch?
My guest being too afraid to drink our tap water, thinking that she would get sick, when in fact our water is 100% purified. People have such different expectations of Africa before they come; it always surprises me.
6. One thing you wish guests knew…?
That once they come through the Royal Chundu gate, they will not leave as visitors but as part of our special family.
7. What’s your recipe for the perfect day on the river?
Watching a beautiful sunrise with the sounds of the birds and hippos. I always thank God for every day he gives me.
8. What words do you live by?
Life is too wonderful! Live by the day and be happy.
Above: Left, Aggie and her daughter partaking in the Global March for Elephants last year, and right, at River Lodge with AC Milan Captain Montolivo and his wife cristinadepino during their honeymoon at Royal Chundu.
Aggie’s name constantly pops up glowingly in our guests’ reviews on TripAdvisor, proving that it’s not only us who love her! Discover more on our TripAdvisor page.