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The Wind Beneath My Wings

After an incredible 40-year career in hospitality, Nicky is hanging it up. In her final blog as CEO, she pens a special message to the Angama family
Above: Nicky surrounded by her extended Kenyan family

‘It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
But I've got it all here in my heart,
I want you to know I know the truth,
of course I know it, I would be nothing without you’

I am nothing without you, my beloved Angama family.

The day has come when I bid you farewell as a colleague. I will treasure for always the immense joy I have experienced working alongside you for the past seven years. Together we have made Steve’s beautiful dream become a reality. He knew we could do it, and do it we did. Tenfold.
 
We knocked it out of the park because we never for one moment wavered from our North Star: by delighting our guests we succeeded, and through our success we paid it forward over and over again. A beautiful virtual cycle, a gift that keeps giving, a purpose-led team who looks out for each other every moment of every day.
 
I am because we are.

Side by side we built, guided, cooked, painted, served, and made beds.
Side by side we bumped our way through those first few months.
Side by side we delighted one guest at a time.
Side by side we told our story so more guests would come.
Side by side we stood by each other.
Side by side we celebrated and mourned.
Side by side we paid it forward to our neighbours.
Side by side we supported our beautiful conservancy.
Side by side we welcomed new members of our family.
Side by side we prayed for Steve.
Side by side we picked ourselves up more determined than ever.
Side by side we looked Covid-19 straight in the eye.
Side by side we said, ‘You won’t beat us.’
Side by side we came through stronger than ever.

You have made it possible for me to move on to my next chapter and for that, I will always be in your debt. I am not going far, just around the corner. I will hold you deep in my heart forever by spending many quiet and wonderful moments reliving these past seven treasured years. The stories that made us laugh so hard we cried. The stories that made us cry but made us stronger. There will be thousands more Angama stories, great and small. Please cherish them all and tell them to your children so they too will follow in your footsteps making our world a better place one guest at a time. Never stop stealing the hearts of all who touch what we know is the Angama dream.

My greatest wish is that you care for each other. What we do each day is wonderful but hard all the same. The long hours. The heavy loads. The moments when we feel we need a helping hand. I know you will be there for each other. You are so precious to me.

'Fly, fly, fly high against the sky.
So high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you.

Thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings'
—Bette Midler

Note from the Editor:

As part of her farewell, we were able to make one of Nicky's life-long dreams come true — a flight in a yellow biplane from the film 'Out of Africa'. A special thank you to Will Craig and Kim Davey of Lewa Wilderness Air, a premier scenic and private charter company in northern and central Kenya, for their kindness and generosity.

Filed under: Inside Angama

Tagged with:

Angama Family , Angama Mara , Angama Team

About: Nicky Fitzgerald

After more than 30 years in hospitality, starting with a small hotel at the foot of Africa and followed by a further couple of Cape hotels, most notably The Bay, and sixty plus safari lodges across Africa and India, Nicky has served more meals, puffed more cushions, filled more beds, trained more staff and opened more properties than she cares to remember. Nicky retired as Angama's CEO in July of 2022 and remains an advisor and delightfully opinionated member of the Board.

Browse all articles by Nicky Fitzgerald Meet the angama team

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Join the Conversation (3 comments)

Comments (3):

Betsy Donley

14 July 2022

Such a magnificent story of someone in love with Africa and it's people. Take care!

peter kamundia

14 July 2022

A very encouraging letter

MOSES TONG'OYO

1 July 2022

Dear mamaa Wishing you Long life in this world mamaa

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