The best combination of technician and bookworm
Every day, Wärtsilian Zebidah Ndoro feels pride over her team’s work at the Kipevu III power plant; together, Zebidah and the team ensures the power plant supplies electricity to the whole country. “The knowledge that my actions here are powering machines all over Kenya, lighting up the whole country and growing the economy keeps me energised and gives me the drive to do more,” Zebidah describes.
Zebidah is working as a Mechanical Technician and in addition to that she is a member of the safety committee at Kipevu. “I love the working environment we have, and I want to ensure that all of our people stay safe. I’m a firm believer of ‘safety first’ in all our activities – it’s particularly important here at the power plant.”
Safety is the starting point for all Zebidah’s activities, her daily work tasks being mainly related to maintenance of the power plant equipment, withdrawal of spare parts and work order reporting. “It was the opportunity to grow that originally brought me to Wärtsilä,” Zebidah tells. She felt that Wärtsilä being an international company with vast experience in engineering would provide a wonderful platform for anyone in search of growth and career opportunities.
And how has Zebidah’s journey been so far?
“The journey has – for sure – been good. Yes, there have been challenges, but they have served as great learning experiences and enabled this personal ‘growth’ that I came to search for,” Zebidah says with a cheerful look in her eyes. “For example, related to my duties on work order reporting and spare parts withdrawals, we used to have some hiccups there. But when I joined, I got trained to handle them. Ever since, I’ve been doing these tasks for my team and now we don’t only reach, but sometimes surpass, our targets.”
New responsibilities don’t only develop one’s skills, but they make the most unforgettable workdays. “I will not forget the day when I was for the first time appointed as the acting supervisor for an engine maintenance – nor the days that followed. We were various teams all working on different parts of the engine simultaneously. It felt great to be granted that responsibility and I’m glad everything went well,” Zebidah recalls.
Variety of work assignments allows Zebidah develop her skills continuously. In addition to this, she proactively further increases her competences and searches for novel information and learns new skills. “I’m hardworking and very inquisitive. I read a lot and ask lots of questions too. Those characteristics have helped especially when sometimes me and my expert colleagues work long hours for many days – those are excellent moments to ask and learn from them,” Zebidah tells.
Reading enables Zebidah to gain more knowledge related to her work and currently she is reading about the practicalities of converting power plants into gas power plants. “If there are plans to convert the plant where I work into a gas power plant, I’m naturally very curious to know how it will work. I’m already reading about gas power plants as it would be a great experience to be part of the team working to convert the plant and also then running the new gas plant,” Zebidah says enthusiastically.
Even if Zebidah is eager to see her current workplace in Mombasa developing, Zebidah is also attracted by the opportunities to work abroad. “I’ve seen people grow and get bigger responsibilities and I’m happy for them. Of course, sometimes the career development takes some of your closest colleagues a bit further, like my previous line manager who is currently working in Tanzania,” Zebidah shares.
However, as the work at the power plant is very much teamwork, Zebidah has plenty of close colleagues to whom she can still turn to – with anything. “My entire team, from the line manager to my fellow technicians are all very supportive and professional. We make a great team and we have achieved great things together. Especially, Sally Ngeene and Esther Wainaina have always encouraged and supported me."
Who knows what opportunities Zebidah decides to take on later; but for now, it is her team mates and the family – especially her son with whom Zebidah plays the majority of her free time – that keep this Mechanical Technician’s feet tight in the soil of Mombasa. There, Zebidah keeps enthusiastically following the expansion of renewable energy and the related innovations, such as the hybrid power plant in Essakane. “The world is moving towards renewable energy and I believe there is still lots to be done. And who will do it if not Wärtsilä? Our capability to innovate has after all kept us vibrant for 185 years already.” While new technologies arise and Wärtsilä develops new solutions and gains new customers, Zebidah anticipates there will be even more growth opportunities for her and her team members.