What is your educational background?
I have a Masters degree in Water Resources Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration. My first degree was in Civil Engineering, from the University of Zimbabwe.
What is your current occupation?
I am a Resident Engineer on a Water and Sanitation project funded by the European Investment Bank for Mwanza Town in Tanzania. My work is to ensure the Client gets quality work from the Contractor, within agreed timeframes and specified budget.
What or who got you into STEM?
My passion for constructing things, for bringing solutions and making impact in communities. The support of my parents was also instrumental.
What is the biggest challenge/barrier you have faced as an African in STEM?
As an African, who is also a woman, you have to push an extra mile before you can be accepted as great at what you do. Not many companies are willing to take a chance on you on large projects.
How do you think your background/upbringing has been beneficial in your journey/career?
I was brought up to be a fighter for what I believe is right or for what I want. That makes me stand strong and not be beat down by the negative energy I sometimes encounter on my professional journey.
How do you think we can start to change the narrative surrounding African contributions
to global STEM research & careers?
Platforms like the one you have created will bring limelight on the Africans who are contributing in STEM. We need more of these fora where Africans in STEM are profiled.
What advice would you like to give to young, aspiring Africans in STEM?
You can! Be tough. Don’t give up. Don’t look back. Remember, there is always someone to hold your hand along the journey.
Do you have any projects you’re working on that you would like us to highlight?
There is not much information out there regarding STEM careers. The Joy Makumbe Trust, registered in 2010, provides such platforms for career guidance and entrepreneurial skills workshops for young people in schools and colleges.
I have published a book which is available on Amazon titled Tech Girl Diaries. The book highlights my tech journey; the challenges faced and how I overcome. It will motivate and inspire every girl who has ever dreamed of pursuing a career in STEM. The book is also for parents, men and women as it shows them how they can support the girls and women in their communities who choose to follow STEM careers.