At a point in my life the only thing I needed was one long pamper/spa day. The gods of sanity most probably saw this as I was gifted with a Moonlight Night Spa from Mangwanani Spa which included a full hotstone body massage, an indian head masage and a foot & leg massage. Sounds like heaven right? or so I thought.
Just to be clear – I thought long and hard if I should exploit the situation, as from what I can see, most Mangwanani Spa’s around South Africa, and the in house branch at the Palazzo Hotel, seem rather exlusive and on point, however River Valley Branch was anything but. Seeing as the person who gifted me with this package forked our R5000 plus, is saw it as my duty and my right as a consumer to inform others.
5 Hours of Pampering? WTF is your Problem Liza?
All seems fair and well, but it started with the fact that we were clearly warned to meet the bus on time at the Palazzo Hotel (You can read more about this Amazing Hotel here).
Being the “socially acceptable humans” as others would expect, we were 15min early. However, there were people who only arrived an hour later than the agreed upon time, and as threatend, the bus never actually left without them. Which seems a little kak to complain about, but after sitting in a bus for an hour – and arriving back at the hotel at 2am in the morning, it seems valid. Besides, this is only where it started.
Problem 1: Modern Day Slavery
I cannot speak up about this situation a lot, due to sworn secresy (Mangwanani can check who assisted us so not a word of what these ladies said would be exposed here) towards the ladies that did our treatments – but bitch you better believe that I can and will write about the kak that I saw.
The ladies, about 50+ employees were over-worked and tired. Somewhere on a Facebook review I saw someone complaining about the fact that the employees were sleeping. I shit you not. These women were so tired, as they were giving treatments to client they were sleeping.
I felt so kak, because most of them were busy with the 16th hour of the day, and someone “serving” me in the conditions they were in, just did not feel right. When we were herded like cattle (read more a little later) for one of our treatments, I spotted about 4 workers ACTUALLY sleeping. The one therapist rested her elbows on the clients head and slept – the client was in such a bliss he did not even notice. At the given time, myself, my friend and some of the other therapist were laughing so hard, however I quickly came to my senses.
I investigted this just a little more – and truth be told, the salary of the women are soooooo bad. I actually saw bank statements, minimum wage? ag please. The goverment mos only fights for other industries. The ladies do not even get paid at a minimum rate, so overtime rate were obviously non-existant. Working for around 350-384 hour per month and only getting paid +- R3000 (little less) a month is BULLSHIT and pure modern day slavery.
Number 1 rule was broken
The number one rule of a spa? Hygiene. Ek gril sommer wanneer ek daaran dink.
It was so bad, to such an extent, that it ended with myself and my friend having a rash all over our bodies.
The dust was everywhere, the towels on the massage beds felt sticky and had this perculiar smell, glasses were stained and it was pretty much just siff.
I felt like a Cow
Yeah – top point of Consumerism. It was clear. Zero fucks were given by whoever manages this place, in terms of client satisfaction. This was CLEARLY just about money, and “in-my-face stealing”.
When we received our Head massages, Myself and about 35 other clients along with 35 other employees were crammed into those “steel, craddle” thingys. It was litterally the same construction as a “kraal” (the place where animals sleep in, mostly horses)
The situation looked like that of a high volume production factory. I could not even take this seriously as it was men and women mixed, and my robe constantly falling off, exposing my naked upper body and I just had to cover up as much as I could. Regardless of that – Either way, I could not have taken it seriously, myself and the friend were actually craking so much jokes on the facts, and how all off the other clients were actually closing there eyes and falling asleep. HOW THE FUCK DO YOU THINK THIS IS OK?????
As reported, most clients actually do confront the ladies on the slavery, hygiene, and unacceptable circumstances. The others? They choose to ignore it. You cannot possibly have a functioning mind and think that this is ok.
I know what you are thinking!
Why are these ladies still working here?
if you thought the hours, salary and working conditions were shocking then you are about to get MIND-BLOWN.
The reason these ladies don’t leave to work at other salons – which they are completely qualified and skilled for (BEST massage of my life) is because after they receive training, Mangwanani with-holds the certificates from them. That’s right.
They get them out of the slums, train them, and in-slave them. These women have no other option. They are soooooo skilled in giving massages, my friend (who has attended 100’s of spa’s around the world, clearly stated that this was the best and most professional, on-point, treatment to date) and I can agree.
Edit: Dear Ilona – In response to your comment
Originally I wasn’t going to approve your comment, but I thought why – not. First and foremost, you seem to be more concerned with me as a person as with the spa, should this not be the case then it is most likely your subjective views of the spa and towards me upon which you formulated your comment. You are completely entitled to defend the spa, if your morals are not affected by modern day slavery then so be it, however attacking me on a personal level – you shall not dare.
Saying “how could I feel exposed after I posted after pics off my operation” but the lady constantly pulling down my gown with 20 other men in the siff room made me feel exposed?????
Firstly please do not decide on emotions that I can or cannot feel and please don’t question them either if you have not had such an experience. Secondly, because I have sex, it makes it ok for me to get raped? NO, off course not. See sweety, the difference is free-will and consent. So just because I posted these photos’ 2 years ago it make it ok for me to get my gown dragged off where 20 other strange men are present? It’s women like you that fuck things up for feminism. I hope you still stay around because honey a Post is soon to come of my entire Breast Augmentation series, so more booby pic, seeing as you stalk it so much.
Secondly the fluffy gowns and products? Hahahahahahah, please. The gowns were hard and scratchy, and reeked of god know what. Products I bought at the little shop they had there. The only reason I did not go on about the hygiene was because that was not the fucking problem. The problem is that these women are being exploited working 16 Hours a day and earning a salary of R2600.
as you can see I am not the only one with this problem – please see the screenshots of recent clients experiencing the same issues.
Your concern on the price? Please send me your email address and I will send you the Invoice as I am not willing to expose my Dad’s information for the sake of your peace of mind.
No – we were actually informed the opposite, btw please explain how you receive a massage met “jou-vol costume” swimsuit. I think the hot-stones of the full body massage received 10 minutes after would have burned a hole in that material.
To the rest of my readers please accept my apologies as the edit drifts away from the essence of the post, but to defend myself and my brand I will not tolerate attacks like this, nor will I tolerate slavery. You can clearly see from reviews that I just screen shot from the Mangwanani Facebook page that other clients endured the same experience.
Sadly – the Department of Labour has visited the premises before, however this was on a Monday, not to mention, the staff would have been to scared to talk as they were petrified when they communicated with us, and paranoid of other employees, who are scared to loose there jobs, to hear. I have lodged complaints with the department of Labour. Furthermore I did not lodge these complaints with the spa as a simple “sorry” and gift voucher is not going to change my mind at what is happening there.
AGAIN this not a brand problem but Branch Problem. The details may seem crazy but that JUST the very reason I am exposing it because it is so absurd and intolerable.
I have no doubt that this is only a “branch” problem and not Mangwanani as a whole. But people get your shit together.
Have you ever been to Mangwanani? In particular River Valley Branch? What was your experience?