By: Lungisa Somtombo
In an attempt to promote the beauty of the Eastern Cape, Mdantsane in particular, Mdantsane-born Tourist guide Siseko Yelani started a tour company called Uncuthu tours.
The Walter Sisulu Tourism Management graduate said he started being a tour guide in 2009, and he focuses on Mdantsane because he was born in Mdantsane and he would like for it to develop like other townships.
“I noticed that Mdantsane is appealing in nature unlike other townships, that’s when I felt the need to start a tour company and show people the beauty of my township,” said Yelani.
Uncuthu Tours has been doing tours in other parts of the Eastern Cape as well. The focus on the Mdantsane tours called ‘The Wild side of Mdantsane’ which are centred around nature, culture and adventure was because of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
“I am showcasing Mdantsane in a way that it has never been shown before. People usually show heritage sites, sporting sites and history related sites. We showcase the beautiful parts of Mdantsane because we noticed that Mdantsane is appealing in nature unlike other townships,” he said.
Yelani said their biggest challenge is the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions because their tours are outdoor, therefore restrictions limit them. Nevertheless, they obey the rules because they also want to limit the spread of the virus and stay safe.
“Another problem we have in Mdantsane is litter, I noticed that the township is dirty and that is not a beautiful image for tourists and business,” he said.
Furthermore, Yelani said he has received support from the Buffalo City Metro Municipality, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency and National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
Uncuthu Tours is different because people get tired of doing the same thing and people’s interests change all the time.
Right now people are interested in outdoor activities for health reasons and that’s why they have tapped into the space of doing outdoor activities like bicycle tour, nature walks and Kayaking which is a water-based activity.
“The response from people who have taken part in the activities and supported my business is very positive and encouraging, which means there is a possibility for growth,” he concluded.