The vision of new Cableway MD Wahida Parker
New Table Mountain Aerial Cableway managing director Wahida Parker wants all South Africans to experience Table Mountain at least once in their lives – she says this is crucial for cultivating public support for the need to preserve the natural wonder for future generations.
“Table Mountain is one of the New7Wonders of Nature, and most of us will never get to see the other six, so it is my intention to ensure every South African sees at the very least one of the seven,” says Parker. “My long-term vision is for a trip up Table Mountain to be on the bucket list of every single person, and that every South African becomes an ambassador for this mountain, this city and this country.”
Parker believes that getting people to experience Table Mountain is the key to cultivating support for the need to preserve it. “A trip up Table Mountain can inspire, invigorate and humble anyone who has ever set foot on this majestic rock,” she says.
Mountains are an integral part of her life and Table Mountain has special symbolic importance. “Table Mountain signifies a challenge that needs to be conquered and, of course, it comes with the subliminal message of overcoming difficulties. I also see the top of the mountain as a place where one can be inspired and gain wisdom in a deep spiritual sense,” she says.
However, her first Cableway experience was memorable for the wrong reasons: “I was not comfortable being placed in a car and being pulled up several hundred metres without a parachute! That sums up my first memory. Thankfully, with all the improvements and implementation of world-class safety measures, my fears have been allayed.”
As a qualified attorney and internationally accredited mediator, Parker can draw on multifaceted experience, including brand management, public relations and marketing, in her challenging new role as MD of the Cableway.
“In South Africa we are privileged to have a tourist market that appreciates what we have to offer, but there is still such great opportunity for locals to become ambassadors for this country, its cities and the beautiful attractions that it boasts. Our job is to make sure that every visitor who visits the mountain basks in the awe of their experience long after they have returned home.”
Although she has hiked the mountain, don’t expect her to walk to work. “My two sons and I religiously hiked up Table Mountain every December, when my nephews visited from Durban. On the question of walking to work, let’s just say I am happy to walk from work but walking to work seems a tad steep!”