Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mfanyakazi a mwezi

AKA Employee of the month : December 2012

It's that time again where I honor a member of the Guest House and House No 2 (our home) staff.

The person to win the award this time is erstwhile casual garden laborer and now part-time askari and full-time trainee chef. A few months ago, I noticed that the new askari/ guard, Amani,  spoke perfect English, was highly intelligent, and totally wasted opening and shutting the Guest House motor gate three times a day.

After asking Amani if he'd like to help in the kitchen to which he readily agreed, I spoke to Grant who also thought it was a good idea. Even though we have two male chefs, our next best lady chef (cooka Salomi) is on maternity leave so there's not much time off for the present cooks.

So for the past four months, Amani has been chief bottlewasher (he cheerfully started at the bottom, dear lad) and also learning how to cook certain meals at the chefs' elbows. Amani  also dusts off the tables after meals * and re-sets the dining tables for the next meals as well as cleaning the dining room lounge, four guest bedrooms,  two bathrooms, the kitchen and scullery.   
Note: * instead of leaving used plates on the tables for "servants" to collect, each expat takes his crockery, cutlery and glassware through to the scullery. After scraping any left-overs into specially placed bowls (with which I feed the chickens later)  and discarding their toothpicks and paper serviettes into the bin below, they stack everything neatly into the sink.  I initiated this procedure soon after I arrived here when I found that the dinner plates were literally thrown into the sink with bones, leftover food, napkins and toothpicks in between. Who was supposed to sort this out?  Ewgh!

On Christmas day Amani opted to work (it meant triple pay for him and as a single man, he said he had nothing special on) and what a boon he was. He cleaned up after I had roasted the turkey and washed the men's breakfast dishes. Later that afternoon, he took took the two stoves apart and scoured every single grill, pan, plate and the cleaned the exteriors until they gleamed. He told me it took him three hours. All this was done with a smile, bless him.  

 Amani, (center) worthy winner of the award for Employee of the Month

This afternoon I will call a staff meeting at the Guest House, and thank them all for their hard work over the past two months (November and December). After announcing the winner for December, I will hand over the prize hamper consisting of 5kg ugali (maize meal), 2kg mchele (rice), 2kg sukari (sugar), kahawa (coffee - a tin of instant), biskuti (biscuits/cookies), pipi/tamtam/chakleti (candy/sweets) and  sabuni (toilet soap).  

Hongera/congratulations Amani. 

I am linking to Our World Tuesday with this post. For more of other people's worlds, please click the link.


  1. Congrats to Amani. He sounds like a gem of a worker.

  2. I so love that you recognize these hard working folks.

  3. What a delightful and helpful man. I love someone with initiative and a good attitude and someone who doesn't mind learning from the ground up. Amani has a lot of wonderful skills that will carry him into the future and is well deserving of your award.

  4. I really admire your handling the personal ! It must encourage them enormously when they see that their work is appreciated. When I see how spoiled people are here ! Many cleaning women even refuse to wash up the floor of the basement or garage !!

  5. Congrats to Amani, It is always wonderful to hear about a hard worker. You must be great to work for, that also makes coming to work a pleasure. Have a happy day, Jo!

  6. Great post and wonderful photography ~

    Congrats to Amani for all his hard work.

    A Creative Harbor) aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^

  7. It looks like Amani is set for greater things in life with that kind of work ethic. I am sure you are the employer to help him along the way to success.

  8. Ameni, Amani! Yeye amefanya nzuri kabisa.

    Jo, I just spent the last 40 minutes reading your past blogs - about your visit home to SA. It is an absolutely beautiful country. I loved every visit I made there and would love to go back again someday.

    May the Lord bless you and Grant for all the kindness you show to those around you every day.

  9. I, too, love the fact that you recognize your wonderful workers for all they do!! How encouraging for them!! Thanks for sharing this with us today, Jo!!

  10. Amani sounds like a very valuable employee. I think it is so encouraging of you to give out this award each month. I'm sure it motivates all your employees to do their best.

  11. very nice post and your photography is so lovely. i read your blog very sincerely.


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