THE KNIGHT: Charles Kalyango is the executive director of Birdnest Resort on the scenic shores of Lake Bunyonyi. He manages employees, planning, marketing, coordinating and administering resort services. Eric Ntalumbwa talks to him about work and women.
Tell us briefly about yourself
I am a friendly and outgoing person. I have a beautiful woman in my life and we are blessed with a son.
Why did you opt for a job in Kabale?
I am a very adventurous person who yearns to grow. I started working in Kabale in 2013.
What inspired you to embark on a career in the hotel business?
Tourism is one of the most vibrant sectors in Uganda. It is pleasing to work with people from different cultures and different countries.
What challenges do hotel managers face?
It is hard work day and night. We must get work done whether it is a Sunday or a Monday. As hotel managers, we are always thinking of how to get new business deals.
Do women make better hotel managers?
I don’t think it is a gender issue. It is about character traits. Surprisingly, what men can do, women can equally do, or even perform better.
Why are women often put at the front desk of the hotel
Clients are more interested in interacting with women than men.
What kind of woman attracts your attention?
A woman with a unique hairstyle with a sweet fresh scent captures my imagination. A woman who is confident and curvy is an added advantage.
How do you want the tourism industry in Kabale to remember you?
As someone who supported skills development and training young graduates in the hospitality industry. I also want to be remembered as a manager who changed local perception about the resort, or hotels. Locals tend to think that such facilities are only meant for foreign guests.
How do you spend your free time?
I love watching soccer matches on television, and sipping a cold tusker malt beer.
Best moment as a hotel manager
My ability to organise an annual dinner for Kabale corporates in June or early December. The numbers have steadily grown over the years and I continuously get overwhelming support.
What is special about Bakiga women?
Bakiga women are hard working and romantic. They value their marriages. This is evident in my interactions with the staff who are predominantly Banyakigezi.
When I lost my head chef Paul Mulyampiti (RIP). The other one is when a client wanted to book with us at the resort, but later cancelled on assumption that we were expensive. Even when I offered her a discount on four nights, she hesitated.
Later, she walked in and demanded for the discounted price for only one night, which I could not offer because the initial discount was intended for four nights. She hurled insults at us and left. When she returned home, she posted a negative TripAdvisor review and alleged that I wanted to cheat her and branded me as a person who doesn’t stick to his word.