Nonkululeko Charters, meaning Freedom Charters, established in 1995 a year after South Africa's first democratic election. Now trading as Yacoob Yachts, it is one of the first and only black owned charter businesses trading in the heart of South Africa's top tourist destination, the V&A Waterfront. They provide the ultimate sailing and cruising experience and a cruise on one of their vessels, taking in Cape Town's breath taking coastline, is a must do activity! We spoke to the owner, Esa Yacoob about his company that has become a staple on the Cape Town tourist map.
Q: How does Yacoob yachts make a mark on Cape Town luxury scene?
A: I would be careful to pigeon our fleet of vessels and our service offering in the luxury bracket as we work very hard at making our pricing as accessible to our domestic as well as international guests. There is a valid perception that sailing on a catamaran is a glamorous experience and with a fleet of 6 vessels we cater suit all moods, from romance to adventure catering to the thrill seeker and the family alike. A cruise on one of our vessels, taking in Cape Town’s breath-taking coastline, is a must do activity. We pride ourselves on offering vessels that meet international standards, serviced by highly qualified and friendly crew.
Q: What are your top three experiences in Cape Town as a city?
A: That's incredibly difficult. I've lived my whole life in Cape Town and yet I still find new things to do which blow me away.
1. I would be remiss if I didn't say spending a day in the V&A Waterfront. Start with breakfast at Table Bay Hotel, satisfy your culture vulture at the Zeitz Mocca Musuem, followed by lunch at the Waterfront Market, spend an hour chilling in front of the Kelp Forest at the Two Oceans Aquarium and end off your day with sunset cruise on one our catamarans sipping sparkling wine and dinner at Willowbys.
2. My daughter recently started surfing so now we all get dragged along and there's nothing better than spending the day next to the ocean. Kalk Bay with its restaurants, eclectic mix of vintage and second hand shops and great tidal pool next to Brass Bell always a great option.
3. Dinner at the Duchess of Wisbach in Sea Point, followed by dancing and smoking a sheesha pipe at Cubana in Green Point and a late night gatsby from Wembleys.
Q: If you would recommend a tourist to do one activity on his last day in Cape Town, which one would you suggest?
A: Diving with Great White Sharks!
Q: What do you think are your main responsibilities towards your customers?
A: Honesty, humility and respect.
Q: What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
A: Becoming a major player in an industry traditionally dominated by a traditionally white male market.
Q: What's the one thing you'd like to achieve in 2018?
A: Find new ways to diversify my money into investments that show great growth. I'm getting older and need to plan for the years coming to ensure I'm comfortable and able to travel and enjoy the money I've worked hard to earn.
Q: What is your one advice to budding entrepreneurs?
A: You are not an island. My success is based on finding the right partners, learning from great mentors and being humble enough to ask for help and advice. You have to have a serious set of balls to be an entrepreneur, it's your money on the line, it's your vision that will constantly be questioned and challenged so be confident (not arrogant) but you are only able to learn when you are humble enough to ask for assistance.