Fortinatah Mandi - Live line team leader with heart of fortitude

By Samuel Chege

Perched high up, she calmly gives instructions to her peers even as she, with the precision of a neurosurgeon, works on a live line.

Despite being meters from the ground and repairing an electricity fault when power is still flowing on a high voltage line, Fortinatah Mandi Mzee is in her element, no fear, no second guessing herself.

Using special insulating equipment, the live line team she belongs to works on repairs and maintenance when the line is still live to avoid inconveniencing customers.

She is an extraordinary and bold woman who goes to great heights, in the literal sense, to ensure that work is done to high standards.

Fortinatah is the team lead at the Rabai Transmission and says she enjoys the challenges that come with her work.

“When we arrive at a site, we first pray and plan on who will do what on a particular day. Our work requires good planning,” she says.

This kind of undertaking requires audacity and precision, traits that Fortinatah has gained through training and practise.

She joined the Company in 2002 after training at the Institute of Energy Studies and Research (IESR) in Electrical Installation and Maintenance. Of the 40 who were hired she was the only woman.

The trailblazer was initially tasked with the repair of transformers among other duties.

She later joined the live line team and rose up the ladder to become a team leader of 18 members.

“The work is challenging but if you have the passion, it becomes enjoyable” Fortinatah says.

She said her major inspiration was her late father who always challenged her never to allow anyone to put her down for being a woman.

“Being a woman should not make you feel inferior at all, women have potential to achieve as much as they desire”, Fortinatah adds.