If you’ve spent time at The Market at Ballito Lifestyle Centre, there is a strong chance you’ve met or interacted with the bubbly and always-smiling supervisor, Grant Nkosingiphile Mthembu. Driven by his passion for people and great service, Grant worked his way up from cleaner to supervisor and now heads up his department, playing a vital role liaising between staff, tenants, customers and management.
Friendly, approachable and always with a big smile and kind word, Grant Mthembu is a welcoming and familiar face at The Market at Ballito Lifestyle Centre.
Whether he’s making sure your table is cleared, helping coordinate the live entertainment or just stopping by for a chat, Grant is thriving in this customer-centric and service-driven environment.
Ambitious and hard-working, with a massive heart for people, 32-year-old Grant was born and grew up in Groutville near Stanger, where he still lives with his family today.
After finishing school in 2010, the bubbly and engaging Grant was selected to do a learnership programme through Tourism KZN, where his first placement was at the Ballito library – a role he held for two years, and says he absolutely loved. It was here that Grant discovered his passion for working with people.
When the chance presented itself for Grant to do Linc Foundation’s Work 4 A Living programme (which equips you with basic skills for entering the workplace), he jumped at the opportunity, completing a two-week office and administration course with the hopes of becoming a personal assistant or office clerk.
However, in 2017, when Grant heard there were positions available at The Market, which was soon to open at Ballito Lifestyle Centre, he handed in his CV and hoped for the best. He could never have known that in just a few short years he would work his way up from being a cleaner to a hands-on supervisor, coordinating The Market’s cleaning and service team and liaising between tenants, customers and management.
“I have worked very hard, but I really believe that my ability to communicate well has gotten me to where I am today,” he explains. “Communication is so important, whether it’s with the customers, employees, tenants or management.”
Service excellence is also of utmost importance to Grant, who has held his position as supervisor for the past four years. Known for his friendly demeanour and ‘always-willing-to-help’ attitude, Grant loves every aspect of his job. “The Market has become what we call ‘the heartbeat of Ballito’, so it is very important for me and my team to make sure that the Ballito community always has a great customer experience here. I enjoy serving so many familiar faces.”
You’ll find Grant in and around The Market and Eat Street from Wednesday to Sunday (he has Mondays and Tuesdays off), helping coordinate the musicians, leading the cleaning team and dealing with any challenges that come up with tenants and customers.
“I’m naturally a very friendly person, which is why I love working in a space like this where I can interact with and get to know the customers.”
When he is not working, Grant enjoys spending time with his family (he has four children aged between 9 and one years old), and friends at home Groutville.
An avid Orlando Pirates supporter, Grant says his favourite places to eat at Ballito Lifestyle Centre are Wozza Meat and Bird & Co and – for a special night out with friends – 45 On Eat Street!
With regards to his future, Grant dreams of one day owning his own business in the construction industry. “I would love to own a business where I can employ and create job opportunities for others. There is so much unemployment where I live … and I would like to help with that where I can.”
He also hopes to one day own his own home and car. “I know I have big goals, but I am a man of faith and I truly believe I can make them happen.”
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