Tongai Joesph Dafana

Tongai Joseph Dhafana is a Zimbabwean born based in South Africa and very active in the hospitality and wine industry. He is the head sommelier at La Colombe restaurant, a post that he holds for five years. He holds many credentials including a wine judging certificate and the new Court of Master sommelier introductory certificate. He owns Mosi wines and spirits and is closely involved in giving back to the community.

Q & A with Tongai

  • SA POC at the Table group is crucial to the hospitality industry as it identifies and uplifts people of colour. There are so many unsung heroes who are surviving unnoticed but this platform is unearthing all that, which is crucial not just for the people currently in the group, but for the industry at large.
  • I admire George Cohen, the GM at Saxon hotel in Sandton Jhb, because of his drive to invest in and educate his employees – he has been doing this for 11 years now. Investing in the people we employ, be in in terms of money, time and other support is so important to grow this industry, especially for those who come from disadvantaged and challenging backgrounds.
  • Transformation in the wine and associated hospitality industry will happen when all our colleagues enjoy better living standards. This means we must do something to createemployment and healthy employment conditions. People of colour who are in the wine and food industry locally usually do not enjoy the same advantages as our white colleagues; but education in the form of study, travel and exposure to international experiences is crucial in helping to bridge this and for our continued education in wine culture. On a personal level, we must continue to help each other in any form as this may help to eradicate poverty
  • I want to be seen, known and noticed for my talent, and my work as the voice of the voiceless. Give everyone what they deserve regardless of colour. I encourage us to congratulate each other when any remarkable goal is achieved. I want to help others in any form I can.