AFTER taking part-time jobs with various private companies in Dar es Salaam and got a wage too low to meet his needs, Jofrey Mkuki opted to go back home in Mkiwa village of Ikungi District, Singida Region.
He graduated from Bachelor of Sciences in Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Dodoma (UDOM) in 2013 and worked on parttime basis with three companies but he earned so little that he thought it was not worth it and decided to go back home.
“I stayed home after my father had passed away in 2017 to take care of my young siblings as my mother passed away early in 2013. I was the first born out of three children. My youngest sister was 11 years old at the time of our father’s death. Another one was a standard seven leaver, in need of my support for her secondary studies,” said Mkuki.
He spent three years (2017-2019) in his home village doing charcoal selling business and at times working as a porter at Mkiwa bus stand.
“However, life became too tough as I sometimes went back home without a penny. I usually earned not beyond 10,000/- per week, from both businesses. That is how life was in rural area Mkiwa,” said a-38 year old Engineer.
When he was so desperate, he received a phone call from Simiyu Regional Commissioner, Anthony Mtaka, in 2019, asking him to visit his office. Apparently the Regional Commissioner knew about his struggles and had seen a post of telecommunication engineer on social media.
“I somehow got shocked because I didn’t know who made the post and where he/she got my life details. I never shared my life story with anybody. I guessed my neighbours could have shared my stories somewhere because many expressed their pity on me, following the way I struggled to feed my family members,” he said.
The RC sent him the bus fare to Simiyu and stayed with the Engineer for a couple of days before he took him to Director General for Tanzania Telecommunications Corporation (TTCL), Mr Waziri Kindamba who helped him to get a job with the state-owned telecommunication company.
As an Intern Field Engineer with TTCL, his works include leased telephone lines installation and maintenance, local loop installation and maintenance, optical cable termination, optical cable splicing by using fusion machine and optical fiber installations to customers.
Engineer Mkuki expressed his deepest gratitude to everybody who in one way or another initiated or supported his journey to TTCL. “I thank Mr Mtaka for helping me getting a job again when I was so desperate. I would also like to thank TTCL Director General who provided me with an opportunity to grow and excel professionally,” he said.
“I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to TTCL Regional Manager, Mr Nimbona Kyamani, for his immeasurable support and guidance. I enjoy working with TTCL,” he said.
Reached for comments, the RC Mtaka narrated the way he saw Mkuki’s lifestyle on face-book. He said he lived Engineer Mkuki at his home for some time to make him comfortable as he was in deep stress. He got him part-time job in various departments of his office, including in IT department to assess his ability.
“Having satisfied with everything on Engineer Mkuki, I communicated with my brother, my friend, Mr Kindamba, to take him up. I’m thankful that he accepted my proposal and engaged him at TTCL Shinyanga office,” said Mr Mtaka.
“We stood as leaders and parents to make sure Mr Mkuki has something to do in line with his profession. We gave both moral, physiological and materials support and he is now doing well according to his supervisors as I usually make the follow up. I also appreciate the work done by Mr Malisa whose facebook page exposes those in various needs and people do show up for help,” he stressed.
The Corporation’s Director admitted to engage Engineer Mkuki on part time basis as they have no permit to take up new employees. “It is so because the Corporation hasn’t yet acquired the permit for new employees. But I have been following up on him and I have found out he is performing well, playing important roles in our oldest communication Corporation.”
TTCL Regional Manager (Shinyanga and Simiyu) Mr Bimbona Kyamani, described Engineer Mkuki as a hardworking man, with ability to catch-up lots of things at once. According to him, Engineer Mkuki is especially the best to handle emergency issues, mostly during communications breakdowns.
“Remember, TTCL is the oldest corporation wherein some of its communication experts are getting older, some are dying and some opt to go for greener pastures. I was happy when Mr Mkuki joined us. Following his expertise and creativity, we selected him as a team leader for our field task force,” commented the Regional Manager.