For Daniel, curiosity has turned into a passionate commitment to his work
“This far I have come; I can only thank God!” exclaims Daniel Musembi, a father of three and one of the longest-serving teammates on Sanergy’s processing team. Born and raised in Machakos, Daniel studied up to O levels, after which he began working to support his family.
“Without any higher education, I have always relied on self-employment or casual jobs to survive,” he says. He set up a laundry shop in 2000. Vision Laundry became a well-known spot where customers could count on quality service. After eight years of operating the shop, he felt he was not achieving his goals. “ I was struggling to feed and provide for my family. I often found myself living in debt, and I did not like it,” he says.
One of his customers, Phillip Muema, who had a 10-acre farm in Kinanie, Machakos County, offered Daniel the position of farm manager. This was the beginning of Daniel’s life as a farmer. “I loved the job because I learnt a variety of farming skills, most of which I currently use in my farm and at work here at Sanergy,” he says.
It is while running the farm that Daniel learnt about Sanergy, a company that was new to the area. “I was curious to know how Sanergy works, especially when I heard that it was manufacturing organic fertilizer,” he says.
Daniel became friends with Sanergy teammate Enoch Mogoi, who explained to him about the organization and let him know when new job opportunities arose. Daniel joined the Sanergy team in 2014 and has been instrumental in the processing of organic fertilizer for Kenyan farmers. “When I joined, one of my regular tasks was setting up compost boxes for the processing of organic fertilizer. It was a scary task as it involved handling waste,” he recalls.
However, he was introduced to Sanergy’s quality, health and safety department, which works in liaison with government health officials to conduct regular safety checks, medical examinations, and inoculations for the team, as well as ensure that all processes prioritize the safety and well-being of staff members.
Two years on, Daniel has achieved a lot during his time at Sanergy. “I am proud to have trained most of the processing staff we have today,” he beams. “Last year, I successfully oversaw an Evergrow fertilizer trial project on various crops. My role was to take care of the plants in the project from planting to harvesting,” he says.
Daniel’s diligence and work ethic have helped him rise up the ranks to a crew lead. He manages a team of eight staff and 26 casuals within the non-fresh waste section of the processing site.
In this section, Daniel supervises his team in mixing and watering the fertilizer windrows, packaging Evergrow fertilizer and keeping track of its stock for any upcoming requests. Every morning, Daniel gets to work by 7:30 am and begins with a line tour of the processing site. “This tour essentially helps me plan the day’s tasks for my crew. I note any tasks that were not completed in the previous day and also ensure that all things at the site are in order,” he says.
By 8:00am, when the rest of his crew arrives, it is time for a scrum team meeting. Together, the team identifies tasks that they have accomplished, those that are pending, and those they aim to undertake during the day. “This meeting takes about an hour and a half after which everyone moves to their assigned sections for the day,” he says.
During the rest of the day, Daniel supervises his staff, making sure they stay on track with the day’s work and offering his assistance to them. “I also set aside a few hours to inspect and seal the bags of Evergrow before they’re stored,” he says.
Daniel attributes his success to diligence, commitment, and a good working relationship with his supervisor. “I have always listened and adhered to the counsel of my manager Leonard Mupalia. He has mentored me to help me become better at my job.”
When it comes to his family, Daniel is a happy man! “With a stable job and good benefits, I no longer have to borrow from my friends. I am able to ensure that my children’s education and other household needs are well taken care of,” he smiles. He is also aiming higher: “I am undertaking computer lessons to gain skills in data entry,” he says.
Way to go, Daniel!