My name is Naomi Magdalena Shai and this is my story.
In 2012, I went to Denver Technical College and studied electrical engineering N3-N5 and later went back to complete my N6 in 2015. I couldn’t graduate because I lacked work experience. It was sad and depressing not to be able to get any electrical work experience and giving up was not part of the plan. In the meantime, I kept myself busy by working at the retail shops so that I could pay my bills.
My journey began on the 9th of July 2019 when I got a confirmation to be part of the Certified Energy Auditors(CEA) in training under the LEDET programme in Polokwane. It was the happiest day of my life since, well, I have never got an opportunity to work in the electrical field. I was so passionate and committed to each and every task that was given to us in class.
It was a 14 months programme, where 2 months was for theory studies and 12 months for practical work.
A few weeks later during my theory classes, I was selected to join Eenovators Limited Company in Kenya. I had mixed emotions as I had never been outside my country. It all felt like a dream till reality started kicking in when we were busy preparing the passport and yes, finally the day came on the 28th of September 2019!
Arriving in a foreign country coupled with a new environment can be a stressful affair but believe me, all went well and I blended in just fine. My first day in office, I won’t lie, I was so nervous but I had my friend Ruth Carol Omondi by my side. I remember the night before that, I went through the Eenovators website to memorize all the staff names and guess what, that morning I couldn’t recall any of them but Mr David.
Finally orientation was done but still, I couldn’t relate what was happening in class to practice. Being inexperienced and unfamiliar with most of the energy loggers and tools, it was not easy. I started doubting myself, hearing voices at the back of my mind saying “I will never get it right” and immediately, I started feeling like it’s going to be a long journey. But with the help of the Eenovators team, giving me all the previous reports to read, I finally picked up the momentum and things started to add up.
After visiting a few sites, where I had the full complete puzzle, I was able to understand the auditors’ language and confidently ask questions. I am proud to say I did the audits for the largest telecommunications company in Kenya which is Safaricom and I had the privilege to visit their 3 access sites and 12 designated sites.
Here are some of my site work memories:
The engineers started trusting me with the tools and I could do some work without any supervision. Oh not forgetting that I was the only lady in the technical team .
What interested me most was the fact that the Eenovators engineers do both office and site work which is not common in the engineering field. They also taught me how to conduct a meeting using Asana and to arrange your projects using Trello.
All this was possible because of the values and norms that Kenyans practice. The hospitality was out of this world and for that I am certainly sure that Kenya is my second home.
Energy management can take you to places where you would not imagine being; I mean all the way from South Africa I end up seeing myself in Kenya under the Eenovators Limited company.
All thanks to my family, Friends , Yolanda de Lange, Limpopo Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Proserv, Irma Norminton, Chris Mbori, Eenovators team, Lydia Olaka and the one and only Naomi Magdalena Shai.