Our annual Bateleur Awards are a longstanding tradition here at &Beyond and certainly a day that most of us &Beyonders look forward to with great excitement and anticipation. These awards celebrate those staff within our company that go above and beyond the regular call of duty and who regularly and selflessly make a meaningful contribution to our core ethos of caring for the land, wildlife and people. These &Beyonders are recognised by their peers as being true custodians of the &Beyond culture and their attitudes, behaviours and work ethic consistently reflect our brand and values.
The Bateleur Awards are the highest form of peer and management recognition that an &Beyonder can aspire to. Each quarter, regional winners are selected by their peers and at the end of the year one overall winner is selected for each of the regions in which we operate. These regional winners are then flown to Johannesburg for a week-long celebration where they compete for the grand title.
Perhaps what we all look forward to the most are the inspiring and truly genuine motivational speeches that are presented for each regional winner, as well as the opportunity to actually meet and congratulate the winners in person. It is safe to say there isn’t a dry eye in the room when the speeches are underway. Humbling and heartfelt, real and raw, they truly make the rest of us proud to be &Beyonders.
Earlier this year, the seven 2016 Regional Bateleur Award winners from South Africa all the way up to Kenya (the eighth winner from India was unfortunately in absentia) descended upon our Bateleur House office in Johannesburg and they certainly taught us all a thing or two about humanity and kindness.
As guardians of the &Beyond culture, these incredibly talented, selfless and hard-working finalists all embody exactly what it is to be an &Beyonder and they all truly deserve the recognition:
After listening to the eight heartfelt nominations from each region, our CEO Joss Kent and the executive team had the extremely difficult task of selecting our overall winner for 2016. After much debate and careful deliberation, Joss bestowed the title on &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge chef, Martin Doya.
Meet the 2016 winner
For almost two decades, Martin has worked diligently, passionately and tirelessly behind the scenes, not only ensuring that the food at &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is world-class, but also overseeing countless duties that extend far beyond his chef portfolio.
A highly respected member of the nearby Mayoka village, Martin has a deep understanding of the needs of his community and how working together with &Beyond and Africa Foundation can create development in the area. He often steps in to act as a mediator within the community and regularly ensures peaceful and constructive relations between the community and other parties.
Martin was also instrumental in supervising the construction of the new nurses’ accommodation at the Mayoka Clinic. Without being asked (and let’s not forget he’s a chef by trade!), Martin oversaw the progress of the project, monitored the funds and provided regular feedback to Africa Foundation.
Martin’s entrepreneurial spirit lead him to work closely with local farmers in Mayoka, inspiring, motivating and teaching them how to grow quality vegetables to sell to the lodge. Not only that, but he has also worked with the maintenance team to fix a water pump and even collected water from the river after his shifts.
And last, but certainly not least, Martin continues to volunteer his personal time during the lodge’s month-long closure in April to help supervise the maintenance work that was being done at the lodge to ensure consistent, high quality work.
Congratulations Martin, we are so proud of the remarkable, selfless achievements you have made over the past 19 years and we look forward to seeing you continue to motivate, empower and inspire everyone around you.
And to our regional winners who are inspiring the next generation of &Beyonders, we thank you for everything that you do, day in and day out, to care for our planet’s land, wildlife and people. We applaud and salute you all.