Name: Athumani Bakari
Personality: Gentle, dedicated, genuine, hard-working and honest; these are a few words that best describe Athumani Bakari, our Head Waiter on Thanda Island.
Home: Mafia Island
Joined Thanda: July 2017
Strengths: I feel amazing when the guests compliment my coffees and cocktails. I am really good at making cappuccinos, those are definitely my best.
What is your favourite part about getting to interact with guests: There are many things. I get to learn about new cultures, to understand our different cultures and different ways of life. I gain experience from our guests; my mind is opened and I learn so much from meeting different people all the time.
What are some of your interests and passions: That’s a really simple question. I’m really interested in diving; my passion is diving!
How did you get into diving: I first came across it at my former place of work on Mafia Island. I used to see the boats going out with divers and all their dive equipment and would sometimes accompany them. I became curious and wanted to experience this and it became my dream, to see the underwater world. When I came to Thanda I saw the Marine Biologist, Rianne, going diving and I shared with her my dream that I really wanted to be a diver. She told me to go for it and that if I really wanted it and was really passionate about it, I could achieve it.
Have you been able to explore and develop this passion: My dream came true! I am now a certified Recreational Dive Master.
When did you start diving: I first started diving in 2018. My first dive was in July of 2018 and I have now completed over 50 dives. I spent all my free time working towards my dream.
What have you learned and where would you like to take this new skill: On the journey to becoming a Recreational Dive Master, I have learned many things. I am Rianne’s assistant for the island’s coral restoration project, so I have learned so much about marine life, corals and fish. I assist Rianne with cleaning corals in the coral nursery, installing structures for them to grow on, installing coral fragments into the nursery and transplanting them. I have also helped her with her surveys and reports, counting the different species and numbers of fish around the island.
What do you want to do about this passion from here: I am just happy that I have achieved my dream. I am happy to have reached as far as I have. Maybe one day I would like to become a Diving Instructor and be able to teach other people and help them to achieve their dreams, experience the ocean and learn more about it.