In a world where the maritime industry is often considered a male-dominated field, Elizabeth Wakesho Marami is making waves as a trailblazer. On the occasion of the International Day for Women in Maritime, celebrated on May 18th, we had the privilege of sitting down with her for an insightful conversation about her remarkable career journey. With unwavering determination and a passion for breaking stereotypes, Elizabeth has not only shattered the glass ceiling but has also become an inspiration for aspiring women seafarers worldwide.
Elizabeth introduces herself as a marine pilot with a United Kingdom certification of Chief Mate unlimited/ Master 3000GT. Her career in the maritime sector spans various roles, including serving as a tug master, second pilot, and working on cargo vessels. Currently, she holds the position of 1st officer at the Royal Caribbean Group Celebrity Cruises, where she continues to excel in her field. Her multifaceted experiences have shaped her into a seasoned professional in the maritime industry.
In addition to her maritime career, Elizabeth is also the founder of the “Against the Tide Foundation.” This foundation’s mission is to showcase the stories of women seafarers, shedding light on the unique challenges they face through digital storytelling. By sharing these narratives, Elizabeth aims to empower women in the maritime sector and encourage gender equality in the industry. Her dedication to this cause demonstrates her commitment to not only her career but also to supporting and uplifting fellow women in the field.
Elizabeth’s journey in the maritime industry began in her hometown of Mombasa, Kenya, a coastal port city where she witnessed ships coming and going from the harbor. Despite the maritime industry being traditionally perceived as a male-only domain, Elizabeth’s determination to break barriers led her on a different path. After completing her education at Loreto Convent Primary School and Mama Ngina Girls High School in Mombasa, she set her sights on a career in the maritime sector.
Her educational journey took her to the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt, where she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Nautical Technology. This scholarship opportunity in 2009 opened the door to a world she was initially unfamiliar with but was eager to explore. The support of her family, especially her father, was instrumental in her decision to pursue this unconventional career path. With her mother by her side, she made the pivotal choice to defer her admission to the University of Nairobi’s law school, and that decision transformed her life forever.
Elizabeth’s educational achievements also include a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nautical Science from the Warsash Maritime Academy in the United Kingdom. Currently, she is on the verge of completing her Master’s in Business Management at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.
Looking back at her journey from her initial enrollment in Egypt in 2009, Elizabeth expresses her satisfaction with her career progression. Her pursuit of opportunities, coupled with her dedication to acquiring knowledge, skills, and experience, has propelled her forward in the maritime industry. Her story is a testament to the power of determination and the ability to challenge societal norms.
Elizabeth Wakesho Marami’s journey in the maritime industry is nothing short of inspirational. From humble beginnings in Mombasa to becoming a marine pilot and a champion for women in seafaring, she has proved that with passion, perseverance, and a strong support system, anyone can break barriers and make a significant impact in their chosen field. Her work with the Against the Tide Foundation continues to uplift women in the maritime sector, creating a more inclusive and diverse industry for future generations of seafarers. Elizabeth’s story serves as a beacon of hope and empowerment for women worldwide, reminding us that gender should never limit one’s potential in any industry.
Writer : Raphael Obongo