From Soaring to Sailing: Mariamawit’s Story

From Soaring to Sailing: Mariamawit’s Story

My name is Mariamawit, and I was born in Ethiopia, a landlocked country in the eastern part of Africa. My journey into the world of yachting began in 2019. Prior to this, I worked as a flight attendant for Ethiopian Airlines but felt a strong desire to transfer my skills to a new and exciting industry. Through my own research and by joining various Facebook groups, I discovered the fascinating world of yachting.

 My first question was whether there were any African nationals working in this industry. I was fortunate to connect with a South African stewardess who already had some experience. This encounter gave me the confidence that it was indeed possible for me to pursue this path. My next step was to take the necessary basic courses. I approached the Ethiopian Maritime Academy to inquire about their availability and registered for the courses. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays, and it wasn’t until 2021 that I was able to complete my training.

 Applying for jobs proved challenging due to the prevalence of scammers in the industry. My solution was to obtain a UAE visa and apply for jobs once I arrived there. After a few weeks of networking in Facebook groups, I secured a position. Initially, I did not receive the standard salary, but I stayed on to gain longevity and experience, as job offers were scarce at that time. After a year and a half, I joined a yacht that sailed to Greece for the summer. Though the beginning was rough, looking back now, it was all worth it.



Q & A With Our Faceless Crew’s Co-founder, Tracey Boston and yacht stewardess, Mariamawit Gebremariam

Q: Can you share your views on the current state of diversity in the yachting industry? How do you think the industry can become more inclusive?

 A: I believe nowadays it’s becoming more diverse than before. Some yachts are willing to offer positions for creating a diverse culture. To make this work, I believe that yachts could assist their future employees to get their visa papers done. That is the most challenging part in this industry.


Q: You mentioned encountering scams while applying for jobs in the yachting industry. Can you elaborate on the types of scams you came across and how aspiring yacht crew members can protect themselves?

 A: When I was posting on facebook groups that i am looking for work, I encountred a scammer. I did not go through paying him, though. I just figured it out earlier and blocked the person. Because of that, getting jobs from facebook also have more risk of getting scammed. But it’s better to keep in mind that you don’t need to pay for anything when you are offered a real job on a yacht. And only apply through official yacht recruiter websites.


Q: Coming from a background as a flight attendant with Ethiopian Airlines, what unique skills and perspectives do you believe you brought to your role as a yacht stewardess?

 A: From my experience as a flight attendant, I gained the skills of how to communicate with guests and also how to deal with safety issues and emergencies. There is a similarity in the two industries. So it was an easy transition coming from that background.


Q: Your journey from Ethiopia to becoming a yacht stewardess is quite interesting to me, as I come from the Caribbean. What challenges did you face along the way (if any) and how did you overcome them?

A:  Getting my first job was not easy. THAT was a challenge. But I was able to get the chance and proved that I deserved the role. I was always learning something and gaining more experience along the way.


Our Faceless Crew enjoys meeting and collaborating with crew from the yachting industry. We are a growing, global community, connecting and supporting crew from “ greenies” to “ yachtie pros”, and all ranks in between. 

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