The Parker family to continue the Tongabezi Dream

Tongabezi is moving forwards, with Benjamin Parker’s family and friends at the helm.

It has been a painful time for our Tongabezi Family. We are mourning the loss of a father and a leader. The support from the local community and from our international friends has gotten us through the last few weeks. Hundreds of people poured in from all over Zambia to pay their respects and hold vigil with us, and more will be coming from all over the world. Our plans to celebrate Ben’s life continue well into this year.

It is this support and love which has helped us to decide the best way forwards for Tongabezi as a community and as a business. Vanessa Parker has been by Ben’s side for the last 27 years. She founded and has been running the Tongabezi Trust School on an entirely volunteer basis for the last 23 years. This award-winning school sits directly behind Tongabezi and changes the lives of hundreds of local Zambian children every day. Vanessa, more than anyone, understands the direction that Ben wanted Tongabezi to go in, and she will therefore be taking over as Managing Director.

However, Vanessa will not be doing this alone. Rudy Boribon will continue in his role as General Manager of Tongabezi, as he has been for the last 16 years. Tongabezi has gone from strength to strength under Rudy’s gentle guidance. In fact, if you look back, Ben started being able to take a lot more holiday time from exactly the point when Rudy joined the team!

Ben’s brother Stephen and Ben’s good friend Scott Morgan will also become more active in their roles as Directors. Ben’s daughter, Natasha, has been working for Tongabezi in a marketing capacity since 2012, but more extensively since 2017, and she will now be the Marketing Manager. Look out for Natasha at WTM, ILTM, WAA and Experience Africa this year, she would love it if you pop over and say hello.

Tongabezi has never been stronger. Vanessa, Rudy, Stephen, Scott, and Natasha  will be carrying Ben’s passion, excitement, and ideas forwards, but so will the chefs, waiters, guides, valets, gardeners, drivers, receptionists and other members of the Tongabezi Family, many of whom were at Ben’s side when Tongabezi was nothing more than a few fragile tents and bucket showers filled with outrageous plans.

Honour will continue in her role as European marketing representation supporting Tongabezi marketing efforts as she has done for 15 years along with Rosalind Hind in South Africa and Johann van Zijl in the Americas. They will all continue to fly the Tongabezi flag around the world. Honour will also attend Indaba and Pure for Tongabezi this year.

We hope that our friends all over the world will be as excited as we are to keep riding on Ben’s coattails and see where we end up.