Meet Ray, a masseuse with a sunshine smile at Sayari

By Asilia Africa | 22 January 2021

We’d like to introduce you to our ‘Ray’ of sunshine. Rahma (Ray) is the masseuse at Sayari and has been part of the Asilia family for five years. Her enthusiasm and positive approach to life means that she tackles any challenges with confidence and a smile. With hopes to one day manage a camp, we don’t think there’s anything that Ray can’t achieve. Please scroll down to find out more about this wonderfully strong woman.


What is your favourite animal?

My favourite animal is definitely an elephant because I love their social structure in that they’re matriarchal. Their families are led by strong females and I really believe in strong women. I also love how protective they are over their babies because it reminds me of the love that my mother has for me and my siblings.


What is your favourite wildlife encounter?

It’s the wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the Great Migration. I remember seeing it on TV when I was younger, and I was so amazed. I used to think it wasn’t completely real and that they had edited it for TV to make it look more impressive. The first time I saw the crossing, it was pure luck. We had just dropped lunch off to guests and after two minutes, the wildebeests started to cross. There were so many of them and it was mesmerising to watch! I was so excited, and I couldn’t believe that this beautiful, natural event was completely real and exactly like what I’d watched when I was little.


What is it that you like about the bush?

I love the quietness and stillness. I am able to do something I love in such a peaceful place. There are no cars, no people, there’s no noise and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to work here.


Tell me about your journey with Asilia.

I started working for Asilia when I was 20 and I have now been with the company for five years. I was a waitress for two years, but I’ve always wanted to become a masseuse and Asilia helped me to achieve that. They sponsored me to go to Zanzibar for 5 months to learn about massages and become qualified. Once I’d completed the course, I came to Sayari and I’ve been here as the masseuse ever since.


What is your biggest achievement?

I think becoming a qualified masseuse has been my biggest achievement. It is something that I wanted for a very long time and before I started my training, I remember lots of people telling me how difficult it was going to be. But I didn’t want to be nervous about the course or the potential challenges it would bring when I hadn’t even tried! So, I went to Zanzibar feeling strong and optimistic. Yes, there were challenges, but they were normal challenges that I worked through and I was so proud when I completed my training. I believe that if everyone is strong and has faith, they can achieve anything they want to.


What are the next steps in your career pathway?

I absolutely love my work as a masseuse, and I’ve already mentioned that I feel so lucky to be able to work in the bush. However, one day, I see myself managing a camp. Asilia is a great company to work for because they give you the opportunity to progress. My parents bought me up to be very independent and strong so I know that I can do it, and one day, I will reach my goal of becoming a manager. 


Tell me about your experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry?

I think that there are definitely challenges, but I believe if you carry yourself with confidence and believe in your abilities then you will succeed anywhere. Here at Asilia, we are one big team no matter what sex you are; everyone is supportive. It is easy to feel intimidated as a woman, but when you try everything with courage, and you realise that you can do it, it’s so rewarding.


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