Episode 5: The Story of Philip

Folge 5: The Story of Philip

The electrification of a dream

It was his grandmother's craftsmanship that early on inspired Philip to create with his hands. Growing up with her, Philip could closely observe how she crafted imposing sculptures from ceramics.

Growing up without electricity, Philip was fascinated by batteries from an early age. After many experiments, when he managed to illuminate the family living room in darkness, his enthusiasm for electricity was ignited, fueling his dream to work with power.

This dream guided him as he commuted to Accra after high school, where he began training as an electrician.

Fig. 1: Philip performing maintenance on our diesel generator.

Portrait of Philip

Philip Mensah_fairafric
Philip Mensah grew up near our factory. Inspired by his mother's craftsmanship, he developed a keen interest in electricity from an early age. After attending primary school and later junior high school in Amanase, he began training as an electrician.

Before starting his career at fairafric, he worked for several years as a casual laborer before eventually working for the state-owned energy company ECG and Mercedes Benz.

From occasional jobs to the first permanent position

In his search for employment, Philip, like many others, utilized his network. His uncle, who worked for a large real estate developer, helped him secure his first job.

For 4 years, he assisted his uncle in a suburb of Accra. Philip moved from his grandmother's house to the city for this opportunity. Unfortunately, his uncle couldn't provide him with a steady salary, and after years of odd jobs, Philip finally found a position at ECG (Electricity Company of Ghana), the state-owned Ghanaian electricity monopoly, in 2013.

During this time, Philip occasionally supplemented his income by working privately as an electrician.

When one of our managers needed an electrician for renovation work, Philip was recommended to him. This connection continued as Philip not only did an outstanding job but also revised the planned budget and helped our manager save costs.

Many years passed, and in 2021, our manager needed Philip's help again. He offered to come immediately, as he had nothing else planned. He mentioned that the state energy company was privatized several years ago, leading to him and many of his colleagues being laid off.

Although he found employment at a Mercedes Benz dealership as a casual laborer after seven months of searching, he didn't have much to do there.

Fig. 2: Philip during maintenance work on our bar production line.

Employment at fairafric and rise to leadership

When we learned about his pay there, we were shocked. Philip earned on average less than €100 per month. And that as a fully qualified electrician with almost 10 years of experience. With his paycheck, he could barely afford his rent in the capital city where the car dealership operated.

After a few months, we offered Philip a position at fairafric. We paid him almost three times his salary from Mercedes. Additionally, he was insured for health and retirement benefits with us. He truly deserved this salary increase.

Especially during the construction of our office complex, Philip ensured that we could completely avoid external electricians. Moreover, we saved a lot of money on component purchases thanks to Philip's experience.

Now, after nearly three years at fairafric, Philip has been promoted to Senior Technician. He has undergone extensive training in solar system management and energy, and has consistently developed his computer skills over the past years. To keep up not only with digitization but also to immerse himself in the chocolate industry, he also completed training in food safety.

With the diverse tasks and unlimited opportunities, Philip finally feels that he is not only pursuing his dream but also able to fully utilize his talent in an environment where it is valued. His aspiration is to one day assume a management position with us.

Creating real opportunities

And outside of work?
Philip is very active in sports. In his free time, he enjoys playing football. Moreover, he is one of the most active participants in the monthly sports events we organize at the factory. During lunch breaks, you can often find him at the table tennis table. His forehand has become feared among colleagues. :)

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