James Mrema

Hey guys !


It’s James Mrema. I am Junior GT Controls Technician at CSI Energy Group in Tanzania. I joined CSI Energy Group because its purpose of enabling Africa’s Just Energy Transition aligns perfectly with my career aspirations and personal beliefs. My origins are the Chagga from Kilimanjaro. We as the Chagga tribe have a strong sense of community and tradition. The spoken language of The Chagga is Kichagga which is filled with dialect distinctions. To appreciate Tanzania communication style, it's crucial to value patience, build relationships, actively listen, read body language, and demonstrate respect for cultural differences and values.

As a Junior GT (Gas Turbine) Controls Technician, I am mainly responsible for the maintenance and operation of gas turbine systems. We assist in troubleshooting, repairing, and optimising the control systems that manage the turbines, ensuring they run efficiently and safely. My tasks also include supporting the installation, maintenance, and troubleshooting of control systems specifically used in gas turbines.


My role involves collaborating with senior technicians to ensure the smooth operation of electrical components, instrumentation, and software. It’s a hands-on position where I contribute to optimising the performance and reliability of gas turbine systems across diverse industrial applications.


I want to share with you some interesting aspects of the Chagga culture, including their reliance on traditional medicine.


Did you know that the Chagga people of Tanzania have a long tradition of utilizing traditional medicine to treat various ailments? The Chagga culture places a strong emphasis on the healing powers of medicinal plants and herbs found in their environment. The Mganga or traditional healer plays a crucial role in the community by diagnosing the root cause of an ailment and administering a remedy that is often derived from natural sources.

One of the most interesting aspects of Chagga tradition is their consumption of mbege, a traditional beer made from bananas, which has been used for centuries as a medicinal beverage. Traditionally, Chagga women brewed mbege and offered it to guests and during family and community festivities. Apart from its medicinal properties, mbege is also deemed to increase the happiness and joy of those who drink it.


It is fascinating to discover how different cultures have found ways to incorporate alcohol into their traditional practices, for both medicinal and social purposes.


There is a common misconception that all Tanzanians speak Swahili or are part of a single homogenous group, when in reality, there are more than 100 ethnic groups, each with its own language, customs, and traditions. Understanding and appreciating this diversity can help develop a more nuanced understanding of Tanzania's culture and foster greater respect and inclusivity for its people.


When I am not giving my best on site, I spend a great deal of time indulging into music, movies, and football. I can spend hours exploring different genres of music. The possibilities of the music industry are endless and there is so much beauty in discovering new genres and talents.

I like to listen to music while walking as it has incredible benefits on me. Listening to my favourite tunes keeps me motivated and energised during my walk but also promotes relaxation and calmness – allowing me to de-stress and unwind while exercising. Studies have shown that incorporating music into your walking routine can increase endurance, improve cognitive function, and enhance mood. Personally, I find that my favourite playlist helps me to focus on my surroundings and enjoy a mediative state, leading to a more fulfilling and rewarding experience.


Also, immersing myself in the storylines of movies is my go-to hobby. The cinematographic world is impressive. I believe music and cinema are the portals to art and life. Playing football is my energetic card. It keeps me fit and inspires me. My favourite science-fiction movie is The Wandering Earth 2 which evokes the grand premise of moving Earth to a new star system, futuristic technology, and themes of unity and hope left a lasting impression on me.

I also like to keep an eye on the political scene in Africa. I wish I could meet Julius Kambarage Nyerere – who was a Tanzanian political leader and first president of Tanzania, committed to Africa’s independence, socialism, national unity, and education. He advocated African self-reliance, self-determination, and economic development. Nyerere’s vision for the country and Africa was centered on promoting social economic, and political progress. His legacy as a visionary leader and Pan-Africanist continues to inspire current and future generations to work towards a better future.

Some of my friends say that I am a workaholic. But I would not put it that way. I am devoted. And I love my job. It is full of challenges which motivate me daily. For instance, I once devised an innovative solution to a high-priority job with a tight deadline. This experience taught me the importance of being resourceful, quick-thinking, and confident in my abilities and helped me grow professionally.


I am proud to be part of the team working towards enabling Africa’s just energy transition. Work is mu hustle. It allows me to canalise my energy and sculpt my efforts into concrete. This is translated through a methodical approach to work. I the first thing I do when I am faced with a challenging task is to try to understand it completely before diving it into smaller tasks. Then I create a plan to handle each one. I keep an open mind and seek feedback from my team. This enables me to find solutions and hit my targets.


I have always believed in the power of a smile to brighten the darkest days. It is like carrying a pocketful of sunshine wherever you go. By spreading kindness and warmth, we paint the world with happiness. One smile at a time.


Team, may we stay open to new experiences and strengthen our connections. Here’s to embracing what’s ahead, where each moment brings discovery and every encounter matters.