GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE

First female ship pilot opposes State hand in MCS recruitment

In Summary

• Marami cruises with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Bellisima cruise ship. A  job that she landed in May this year.

• For three years Marami approached different shipping companies to get placement but she got turned down.

Elizabeth Marami, 28, Kenya's first female marine pilot.
Elizabeth Marami, 28, Kenya's first female marine pilot.
Image: COURTESY

Kenyan first female ship pilot Elizabeth Marami took to Twitter on Wednesday to support the 3,000 youth seafarers applicants who protested the government involvement in their recruitment process.

The youth applied for positions in the Mediterranean cruise liners which through a memorandum of understanding aims to train and recruit 2,000 Kenyan youths every year.

The youth, however, felt the process has been hijacked by the government and genuinely deserving applicants will not get a position.

 

Marami cruises with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) Bellisima cruise ship. A  job that she landed in May this year.

Through the hashtag # DiaryofaKenyanseafarer and #standwithakenyanseafarer  she  enlightens Kenyans on her struggles before landing a job and shedding light on protecting the MoU to provide jobs

She says came back to Kenya in 2014 after completing her  first licence on maritime studies in Egypt.

“I came home in 2014 with my 1st license but could not progress even as a pilot because I needed to attain my next license (1st Officer) so I remained a trainee pilot! This could only be changed/achieved if I worked on a ship as a 3rd/2nd Officer for 12 months,” Marami tweeted.

For three years Marami approached different shipping companies to get placement but she got turned down severally because of gender and as time went by.

 

She says her male colleagues progressed as they got placement in companies that rejected her.

In 2017, a company offered her an opportunity, as a cadet.

She desperately took it up and with the hope that she would get promoted and work as a 3rd deck Officer which would count my months of experience to attain the next license.

After 6 months and a promotion recommendation, her next contract was turned down by the shipping company as they asked to end all PR relations with Kenya.

But in October 2018 as she was at loose ends, good news came in that MSC signed an MOU to revive the KNSL.

I got the opportunity of joining their new build ships that set sail in March for a 9-month contract but as a cadet with the hope that this time I’ll get promoted so that my sea time can actually count.
Elizabeth Marami

She became part of the 1st batch to go on board, 1 Officer and 15 deck ratings.

In May, Marami was promoted to 3rd deck Officer by the Mediterranean shipping company in one of their cruise ships.

“MSC finally gave me an opportunity that was denied to me regardless of gender!’ she says.

UNDERSTANDING THE MOU

Marami says Kenya National Shipping Line was formed in 1987 with KPA as the primary shareholder.

In 1997 the KNSL through competitive bidding welcomed a new strategic partner, the MSC.

She says Kenya has no ships and may not be able to acquire in the immediate future, but she can Charter and the partner MSC is offering strategic solutions to revive KNSL- like enabling KNSL to issue Bills of lading and much more.

By KNSL operating CT2 (second container terminal) the port can be assisted to receive more transhipment cargo.

This extends to increased earnings, job opp most importantly chance to influence run away freight costs and landed costs for shipping that currently run into billions.