Rashidi comes from Arusha which is a tourism hub in Tanzania. He family lives in a small village named Kejenge. He’s a family man, and he and his wife Asha, have three boys named Mostafa (18yrs), Nordini (14 years) and the baby Hassan (5 years).
‘I started working in the farming community as a tractor ‘turn–boy’ – my job was to grease the ploughs and check the tractors. From working on the tractors I was promoted to a driver of the land cruisers at the same farm. After 5 years, I left to drive for a Danish lady, and then went to work for a Danish man – also as a driver, but I also learned how to weld.
All the time that Rashidi was developing himself, RCP was having endless battles with its vehicles – countless breakdowns, poor workmanship, faulty and fake parts, which affected the performance of the whole programme negatively.
RCP Director started asking around for a driver and a lodge manager pointed her towards Rashidi. At the same time Rashidi’s friend told him about the position.
Lucky for RCP Rashidi accepted the post and immediately the fleet of vehicles started to transform…
Says Rashidi: ‘When I arrived I found the cars just sitting, really broken, and I started to look at the problems and to order the spare parts. Now I’ve put systems in place so that we can identify problems when they’re small – before they become big problems.
‘I record all the changed parts, service/oil changes. The first thing I did was to start from scratch and change the oil in ALL the cars. Now I change the oil every 5000km.
‘A funny story… but true – when I got here they told me about the one car, that they could start, but couldn’t switch it off. I checked and worked out why – they were starting it directly off the battery. So, I quickly fixed that one!!”
‘Then there was this car – when I took the roof off, the sides fell apart! So now we have to panel beat it and replace the old rusted rivets with solid bolts.’
For Rashdi at RCP there’s never a dull moment! ‘I enjoy working at RCP and my biggest satisfaction is to see the cars going out to the field and coming back without a problem.’