Life long learning & growth

100,000 cups of coffee

15 February 2023

Mama Ali is one of Nomad’s longest serving staff members, and she has certainly served the most - cups of coffee that is.

Her story is intertwined with that of Nomad, and she has been with us in various capacities since the very beginning. Mama Ali started out as a nanny to one of the founding families of Nomad, while her husband worked in one of the very first camps, Greystoke. It didn’t take long for Mama Ali to find her place in the Nomad Family, moving from nanny to cook, she settled in our base office. Mama Ali has been, and continues to be, a mother figure to so many in Nomad. From looking after mischievous children to looking after cheeky guides, she is used to keeping her wards in check. But you don't have to spend much time with her to see her soft side, and you soon understand why she has been part of the Nomad family for so long.

During her time at Nomad, Mama Ali has shown us all how far hard work can take you. She is one of the most determined members of our team, having never gone to school, and narrowly escaping an arranged marriage at age 14, she certainly knows how to handle a challenge. Whenever an opportunity arises at Nomad, she grabs hold with both hands. From supplying the office with hundreds of chickens; buckets of beans; and making not-short of 100 cups of coffee a day; she is never one to turn away from a bit of hard work.

And who can blame her when she is managing to achieve so much for her own family at home. She has built a house of her own, raised and educated three children, and now has her eldest daughter in University. Mama Ali’s role may be a small cog in the whole operation, but she takes her job seriously and always goes that extra mile to keep the Nomad bunch smiling, not to mention how she has memorised the coffee order for the entire office, no small feat!

She loves her job, and loves being part of all that Nomad is and what it represents. She is a living example for us of how Nomad is more than just safaris and the impact that good business in Africa can have on people’s lives. Finally she admits “I don't even like coffee that much!”

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