Head Concierge

The term “concierge” comes from the French saying “comte des cierges” which translates to “keeper of the candles”. The comte des cierges of today may not be handing out candles – well, maybe in South Africa during load-shedding – but it is about catering to the needs of the guests. For 51-year-old Yusuf Jinoo, head concierge at the Radisson Blue Hotel Waterfront Cape Town, it is a career that has fulfilled his dreams.

“I used to be in the manufacturing industry and the company I worked for gave me the option of either moving to Johannesburg or losing my job,” says Jinoo. “As a born-and-bred Capetonian, I wasn’t interested. Luckily for me, a friend got me started in the concierge industry and it was the perfect fit.”

The role of concierge is more than just guest care, it is also about representing the ethos and culture of the hotel and the spirit of South Africa. Jinoo takes this role very seriously, especially as the head concierge where he has all the duties and responsibilities over the other members of the concierge team.

“This includes everything from advising and organising trips to the city’s attractions, both well known and hidden, to minor tasks like running errands for our guests,” he says. “This is the part of my job I love the most. I also manage and upskill the junior members of the team. I can barely begin to describe how fulfilling it is getting to work with, watch and help the members of the team grow in skills and confidence.”

The role of concierge may not be one that instantly stands out as trailblazing, but closer inspection reveals it to be a dynamic and important role that can change people’s perceptions and experiences. Jinoo is passionate about how he helps the junior members of his team and the remarkable city that he works in.

“The striking ocean views set the stage for a memorable stay in Cape Town and guests wake up to the sound of waves breaking on the shore before embarking on a day of exploration,” he concludes. “Starting my day knowing that I am going to make a difference in a guest’s day is what inspires me.”

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tamsin Oxford
Tamsin Oxford
I am a professional editor, journalist, blogger, wordsmith, social junkie and writer with over 19 years of experience in both magazine publishing and Public Relations.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Q&A Sessions: Marcia Mayaba —Driven to open doors for women

Marcia Mayaba has been in the motor industry for 24 years, donning hats that include receptionist, driver, fuel attendant, dealer principal and now chief...

The war on women in video game culture

Women and girls make up almost half of the gaming community but are hardly represented and face abuse in the industry

More top stories

In emotive missive, Zuma says he will not provide answering...

Former president Jacob Zuma on Wednesday submitted a 21-page letter to Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng out of “respect”, to let the head of the...

Gordhan writes to JSC to clarify ‘incidental’ mention of Pillay...

Public enterprises minister denies that he tried to influence the appointment of a judge and friend to the SCA in 2016

The battle for 2050 energy dominance: Nuclear industry makes its...

Nuclear sector says it should be poised to take up more than 50% of the 24GW left vacant by coal

#SayHerName: The faces of South Africa’s femicide epidemic

This is an ode to the women whose names made it into news outlets from 2018 to 2020. It’s also a tribute to the faceless, nameless women whose stories remain untold.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…