Choppies Cookoff

The Maths junkie

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 15 March 2016   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
The Maths junkie

She knew long back that her career will not be the routine for women. Now KELEBALE KENOSI is, besides being an Instrumentation Engineer for the country’s leading mining company, offering free Mathematics and Science tutorials for kids in her neighbourhood.

This ever smiling mother of four is almost unbelievable when she narrates how her job as a control and instrumentation engineer involves among other things getting big machines to give desirable output for the mine and controlling instruments. As it may be norm, jobs such as Kelebale Kenosi’s, are often thought to be held by men but it should be noted that Kenosi herself knew at the start of her tertiary education that she will end up doing something out of the ordinary. As a Mathematic fanatic, Kenosi made sure that her choice of course at tertiary level back at Wits Technikon in South Africa ran along those lines, hence she chose to study light car electronic engineering. Upon completion her first job was at Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). Having furthered her studies at Pretoria Technikon to do a Degree in Telecommunications while still at BTC, Kenosi left BTC to kick start her career in the mining sector at BCL mine where she worked as a control and instrumentation engineer.

Her job involved delegating work that was supposed to be done by humans to machines. This, she says, involved working at the smelter which at times meant she had to go underground. She joined Debswana in 2013. Her job now requires her to do more less the same things she was doing at BCL.  She is also among other things tasked with ensuring safety of the highest order in Debswana mines while enabling the mine to attain more without manpower. Kenosi is also tasked with review of project documentation and design. She also designs project systems. Kenosi is currently working in a project at Letlhakane mine which involves overseeing dump recycling at the mine. “We had to use instrumentation to see if more diamonds cannot be extracted from the dump and as we speak, the dump reuse will give the mine another 23 year life span,” says Kenosi. Intense as it may sound, Kenosi says her work is not as hectic as other people (particularly) women may think. The secret to enjoying it, she says, is knowing that your job is not just any other but is value adding.

She, however, agrees that having entered the industry when the presence of women was almost zero, she had to work double as hard as her male counterparts. “I had to make sacrifices to prove that as a woman I was also as capable. This was also to pave way for aspirants who would want to venture into the industry after me,” she says. Her focus now, she says, is career advancement. In her spare time she offers free mathematics and science tutorials to kids in her neighbourhood. The 44-year-old married mother is also a farmer and whenever she gets time she spends it developing her farm. She applies some DIY technologies like power generation, communication and just simple house hold mechanisms which she says are not really hard as it is an extension of what she does at work.