Human Resources

The people that make it possible

STEPHANIE SIMBO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/ BAR TRAINER & DEBATE CHAIRWOMAN
AKHONA SHINGA

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

AMANDA MANYATSHE

HEAD CHEF/FOOD TRAINER & DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

MATHILDE THILLAY

BEVERAGES & FOH TRAINER

They believe in us

GET INVOLVED

Executive Director/ Bar Trainer & Debate Chairwoman

Stephanie Simbo

Background:

I have an MBA from St Johns University and 10 years of experience as a bartender. Plus, I am a WSET alumni.

Why did you join BBA?:

I created it 20 years ago in my head as a promise to my late brother.

What is your favorite course at the school? 

Philosophy because it expands the student's horizons and I love to debate!

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Akhona Shinga

Background:

I am an Arts/Events Curator. My background started in the arts industry as a performer,  then I branched out and focused more on Arts Administration and Events Planning and that's still my main focus.

Why did you join BBA?:

I wanted to be part of changing the narrative of the woman who are formally in castrated and articulate the story of change around the stigma and social trauma they receive from their communities at large.

What is your favorite course at the school? 

Entrepreneurship and Knifes Skills

Head Chef/Food Trainer and Director of Education

Amanda Manyatshe

Background:

I have a Cordons Bleus Grande Diplome from Silwood School of Cookery as well as a Media and Writing and Organizational Psychology degree from UCT

Why did you join BBA?:

I believe in the vision and I want to make a difference and empower women. Everyone deserves a second chance.

What is your favorite course at the school? 

Well, the food course of course! Curious about the bar course as well.

Beverages and FOH Trainer

Mathilde Thillay

Background:

I'm from Normandy, France. I stopped school when I was 16 but I tried to graduate by myself. The way of teaching and learning didn’t seem to be made for me at this time but I had the chance to be supported by some of my teachers. During this period I did different little jobs. When I was 19 we offered me a hostess position in a social restaurant for migrants. It was an incredible human being experience, between the staff, women, and men in rehabilitation and the "customers" from different background, I learned a lot. It’s at this moment I started to fall in love with the hospitality industry. After that, I tried to find jobs in bars but I was a tomboy with no experience in a small town so it didn’t work. I remember managers asking me if I would be ready to be more feminine cause it’s what customers wanted. In the meantime, I worked for my mother who is the director for 3 associations whose one was a home helper. Again another human being experience who taught a lot. It also gave me the opportunity to find a bartender training where I candidated directly. I graduated 6 months later. After that, I decided to do a one-year world trip. I started in Southeast Asia and fell in love with Cambodia. I stayed there for almost 4 years. I opened the first lesbian bar in Phnom Penh. It didn't work well but I learned a lot about the importance of the smallest detail.

When I closed it I decided to come back to France, in Paris to learn more and to work with the best of the French industry. After 6 months I finally got a bartender then-manager position at Glass, Quixotic Project Group. The bosses sold the place a year later and I’ve been transferred to Candelaria, their oldest bar.

It’s where I met Stephanie who told me about BBA. I got so interested in the project that I decided to quit my job to join the project.

Why did you join BBA?:

It's always been my final goal to be able to fix some social issues through the hospitality industry, to help people. So I couldn’t let go of this opportunity to do it.

What is your favorite course at the school? 

Social responsibility & Bar Management and Business Fundamentals. I don’t think a business, and more importantly, a team could work without fundamental respect for others. I realized, in general people will come back easier cause of your hospitality and your kindness than the quality of your drinks.