Staff Profile: Tilly’s Journey with DPM

Hailing from Maral Village in Imbongu district, previously known as Ialibu in Southern Highlands Province, Tilly Kaydowap escaped to Port Moresby from an arranged marriage and is now the Personal Officer of the office of the Secretary at the Department of Personal Management.

Tilly dropped out of Ialibu High School in 1995 after completing his grade ten (10). Since he had nothing to do after that, his parents and other family members forced him to get married to a woman they had arranged for him.

“I left home because I did not want to get married at a young age,” said Mr. Kaydowap.

Tilly as he is well known for by all DPM staff flew in to Port Moresby in 1999 and stayed with his relatives at nine (9) mile, outside Port Moresby, helping them babysitting and looking after their children.

Tilly continued to stay with his cousin sister and her relative until 2002 when his brother–in law resigned from work and contested the National General Election.

He recalled, life was tough for him.

Fast forward to the next year, 2003, both Tilly and his brother in-law decided to look for any jobs available. Tilly was lucky and secured a job as a security static guard under DPM, where he was on night shift guarding the building during the night.

“I was happy with my job and what I was doing, until in 2005 something I did not expect happened,” said Mr. Kaydowap.

Some of his relatives came to Port Moresby from the village, Tilly’s family said they were sending him some food and vegetables and a gift for him and told him to go get it at the airport.

“I was excited to finally have some food from my village so I rushed to the airport and waited. My relatives came and gave me my goodies , but to my dismay, they brought a young lady as my gift from my parents”, said Tilly.

He later found out that her parents paid her Bride Price back in the village and sent her to Pom to be with Tilly.

Tilly had no choice, and he married that young lady who is now the mother of their three children of two girls and one boy.

In 2006, Tilly was referred to the Department of Personnel Management as a Security Officer.

He did his job diligently, saved up the little that he earned and was able to buy a small piece of land at Morata.

He built a house and a church and moved there with his family in 2015.

In 2019, Mr. Kaydowap was assigned to the Secretary’s office.

“Working here at DPM is good, I love what I do, the only problem I face is ‘transport’ because when there is a lot of work and the Secretary and other staff are working late, I also remain at work because I must provide security or assistance were needed.

“So transportation is difficult for me in such times, otherwise everything is fine”, he stated.

Because of his faithfulness and commitment towards his job, Mr. Tilly Kaydowap was awarded “The Best Junior Male Officer” at the end of 2023.

However, Tilly was hit harder at the beginning of this year as he was looking forward to a successful 2024.

His home and properties at Morata were demolished for evacuation leaving only the church building standing.

His wife and children are currently living in the church building, while he lives in a makeshift hut he built from scraps and remains of his demolished property just beside the church.

Tilly wishes to encourage other people who are in similar situation to never give up.

“We should not look for excuses to be lazy, make use of whatever opportunity that comes your way as we are living in a competitive world”.

Despite issues and challenges he faces, you won’t miss a warm smile and greetings from Tilly every morning whenever you meet him in the office.