Souadou Niang, a former cleaner at the renowned Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the United States through hard work, self-belief, and a positive mindset has today rewritten her story, rising through the ranks to become a proud owner of her own 5- Star luxury hotel in her home country, Senegal.
Niang, is the owner of Palms Luxury Boutique Hotel in Dakar, Senegal:
“I started out cleaning toilets. Today, I am the manager of my own five-star boutique hotel with 60 employees,” Niang told BBC Africa.
Born and raised in Dakar, Niang at age 18 moved to the U.S. moving from New York to Washington, DC, where she applied for work at the Ritz-Carlton to help pay for her education. She worked there for ten whole years but never lost focus of her aim as she cleaned rooms while also studying. As time passed, she got a job with the management team at the same hotel where she started out working as a housekeeper.
“I rose through the ranks and that’s where I got the passion. I said one day I will go back to my country and show that luxury and quality of service can be achieved there,” Niang said.
In 2017 Souadou Niang cemented her place as a hotel owner after opening Palms Luxury Boutique Hotel upon returning to Dakar. It wasn’t a smooth ride though, she was faced with lots of rejections from several banks mainly because she is a woman.
Today it’s all history and Palms Luxury Boutique Hotel, Senegal is thriving. Amazingly the famous five-star hotel is run by a staff of 80% female. Niang chose to hire more women as she believes in their potential.
Moreover, she hopes to expand the hotel locations across Africa and even internationally, Black Business reports.
“My dream is to conquer Africa, and why not the world. As the international hotel franchises in Africa, we should be able to adapt our Afro-chic boutique hotels in Western countries, and show African women can run luxury boutique hotels with the same standards as the international hotels.” She says.