“I started researching about tourism and what it really means to be a traveller,” Koji says.
- Percy Koji started his tour operator and travel agency Travel With Confidence (TWC) business in 2005.
- His love for travel began when he took the train from his village to Johannesburg during the school holidays.
- He saw that tourists travel to gain experience and “Understand” the way South Africa does business by learning about its history.
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As a proud Motswana, its culture and heritage form an important part of Percy Koji’s tour operator and travel agency business, Travel With Confidence (TWC), founded in 2005.
“Tourists travel to ‘understand’ the way South Africa does things by learning, experiencing and learning about our history. Telling stories of our heritage helps to interact and connect with tourists based on the ‘reality’ of our culture – who we are. we do,” said Koji.
“Our tours, [the experience of] stories about our heritage, the Batswana people, immigration and our unique South African history. It is important to know where someone came from and where they are going. Culture is what shapes society and helps inform our thoughts and behaviors in society.”
He saw how important it is for travelers to have a cultural element as part of the tourist offering. It has to do with the main purpose of why people travel, i.e. creating memories, experiences, and educating and educating.
He gives examples of the tourist heritage in SA: visits to the Apartheid Museum, Robben Island, Soweto’s Vilakazi Street, Mandela House, Maropeng (the cradle of humanity), even the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria.
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“All of the above have a rich heritage. They all tell a story of how far we’ve come as South Africa and where we’re going. They’re also popular because they’re unique,” said Koji.
Koji is at the entrance of Lesedi Cultural Village on East Rand in Gauteng.
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He recently took a trip to South Korea to build greater cultural tourism links.
“Koreans like to play golf and go on safari when visiting South Africa. My effort is mainly to increase tourism between South Korea and South Africa.
“This will help create more local jobs. We aim to lobby the SA government to have at least one direct flight to South Korea. This will increase the number of tourists coming to South Africa and trade between the two countries,” Koji said.
From Taung Village in the North West.
“My father worked for then-Spoornet [today Transnet] and this gave us the opportunity to travel by train from Taung to Johannesburg during the school holidays.
“It was fascinating and I enjoyed meeting people on the road, on the train. It allowed me to develop an inquisitive mind about travel. I dreamed of traveling to South Africa and beyond,” recalls Koji.
“I started researching about tourism and what it really means to be a traveller. The first thing I noticed was traveling to Botswana on my own for the first time. I also enjoyed making friends and am still visiting. That was over 16 years ago.”
Detail exhibited in Lesedi Cultural Village.
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After graduating high school, she earned a three-year tertiary qualification in business tourism at Birnam Business College in Johannesburg and eventually started her own tourism business.
“It is very difficult to be an entrepreneur in South Africa, but I am still going beyond Covid-19,” Koji said.
“The company also established a foundation that helps send children to school.
“South Africa faces serious challenges with high unemployment. The government cannot do everything alone. We all need to cooperate, create more jobs and build a strong South Africa.”