It takes a village to raise a kid, the saying goes. But it takes women like Doris Ishenda to manage a village.
You may call her job a rather ungrateful one. 10pm, power blackout? Of course, Doris Ishenda will get up, send a notification to the town’s chat group while engineers and workers frantically start searching for the root of the problem. Electricity cables and water pipes in coral territory are not the easiest circumstance for debugging.
When Doris finally sends a cheery all-clear (“Hello everyone, the power is back”) to the chat, the night may be over. Within a team of equally dedicated colleagues, the 34-year-old town operations supervisor in Fumba Town took her seat behind a humble desk in the town office two years ago – and has never looked back since. She recalls she was “interviewed and hired” the same day, qualified with a bachelor’s in PR and a master’s in business administration, What is special about Fumba?
“Talents are spotted here. Potential of people is encouraged sometimes even before people themselves have discovered it”, Ishende says. Born in Dar es Salaam, she nurtured her own talents on a long worldwide journey with her family – as a toddler in Bhutan and as a school kid in Swaziland. Studying in China (”I wanted to pick up some Mandarin”) she recalls “amazing work ethics. That’s where I developed my thick skin”, she adds with a smile.
Back in her home country, working with residents from many different countries, she has come full circle, she feels: “I get to be myself here.” She loves creating events for the youth. When Doris is around, herself mum of a six-year-old, there’s no boredom, kids say. Such compliments make up for attending to water outages – even at night.