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Umulisa’s journey debunks the notion that hospitality is for the unambitious

In hospitality, every individual has something they are drawn to; I have always been more fond of housekeeping than managing lockers and other related tasks. These are the words of Umulisa Aline, who works in cleaning at one of the hotels in Kigali.

You might hear of Umulisa working as a housekeeper in a hotel and perceive it as a minor job. However, she has discovered the secrets of this profession and is now one of the most successful in it.

When many hear of someone working as a housekeeper in a hotel or elsewhere, they assume it’s a last-resort job after all other attempts have failed, leading to the person settling for it.

The story of Umulisa Aline, the Housekeeping Manager at the Century Park Hotel and Residence in Nyarutarama, reveals that those who underestimate this job are mistaken.

Umulisa’s journey shows hospitality is a big industry

Like many, after finishing primary and secondary school, Umulisa dreamed of becoming a doctor or working in an office, roles that are perceived as prestigious in society.

She found a job in hotel housekeeping, where she would clean rooms and do other necessary housekeeping tasks. She realized that this job, when turned into a profession, could advance her career.

Umulisa says that even though she finished basic education, she ended up in manual jobs. She then decided to learn about hospitality and hosting people, focusing mainly on cleaning and house preparation.

“I went into hospitality. While everyone chose their path, I loved housekeeping more than handling lockers or other aspects of hospitality. I chose housekeeping, put all my heart into it, and that’s why I still do it.”

Years have passed, and Umulisa says that loving what she does and being passionate about it are among the things that have helped her succeed.

She asserts that passion and determination can carry you a long way

Umulisa admits that when she started, some people discouraged her, saying it wasn’t a worthy job, but she has found many benefits in it in her life.

She says, “People do cleaning everywhere, not just in hotels. I tell people it’s a job like any other. I work like a manager and might even outperform someone with a degree due to the responsibilities I have.”

“I started at a basic level, but over time, I’ve never felt it was less beneficial. I began like that, but now I can manage the entire hotel, especially when it comes to cleaning. So, it’s a good job.”

Besides the general perception of cleaning as menial, some believe that a girl or woman working in a hotel might be involved in immoral activities with men.

Umulisa stated that many rumors circulate about this job and its association with immoral behavior, but if you follow the rules and are professional, you won’t encounter such issues.

She says, “I don’t really face these challenges. The rules say that no one should enter a guest’s room alone unless the guest specifically asks for something.”

“If I go in alone, I don’t face any problems. In this job, I work like someone who knows what they want. I know my responsibilities, and I trust the guests, but those issues never arise.”

Umulisa advises young people to pursue hospitality if it is their passion regardless of societal perceptions

The journey she has been on is why she advises the youth not to look down on any job and instead love what they do.

She says, “It’s not easy to give today’s youth advice since they have a lot of things on their minds. If someone understands, I tell them to delve into what they love because if you love something, it becomes easier and benefits you.”

“This is happening in our country. I advise those who get into it to love it because it will benefit them. There are those who come to mock you, and you tell them, ‘do this room you have chosen, and you’ll find someone starving standing there while their peers work hard because they want an easy life.'”

Umulisa says that while the job was initially looked down upon, she now earns money that supports her and even pays for her children’s education without asking for help from anyone.

Straight out of Twitter