I Have No Apologies For My Job – Joy Makumbe

As a way of encouraging young African girls who are passionate about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), this is another story.

I got to know Joy through mutual connections on LinkedIn. I was amazed by her project leadership skills in the male-dominated field of Engineering and wanted the world to know about her. Here is our interview about her STEM journey;

Hi Joy, I am happy to welcome you as our guest today. Thank you for joining us
Hi Winnie, thank you for inviting me. I am happy to feature in your work.

Briefly introduce yourself to our audience, please
My name is Joy Makumbe from Zimbabwe. I am a Civil and Water Engineer, mainly in Project supervision.

Please walk us through your childhood to where you are now
I believe I was catapulted into leadership straight from my mother’s womb. As the firstborn, I took on leadership of my siblings which led to leadership in school and later in my profession. I was elected to various leadership positions as I grew up from class monitor to prefect.

I got the support of my parents when I set my mind on being an Engineer. The journey was not easy as I was met with discouraging sentiments from some men and even some women who also choose to feed the patriarchal monster. Nevertheless, I was determined to be an Engineer as I loved to see things built with my own hands take shape before my very eyes. The impact I made in communities was worth every bit of proving that women can be Engineers, and great ones too. Today I have been on the battlefield for more than 20 years and I am alive and pushing on. I love what I do and I have no apologies for that.

You are one strong African woman! We love interacting with women like you.

Please tell us about some of the challenges you have faced and how you have overcome them
Working in a male-dominated industry is challenging because you are always required to prove yourself to be acceptable. The fact that my parents have believed in me that I can be whatever I want to be has been very inspiring.

What is your most admirable achievement at the moment?
I have written a book titled Tech Girl Diaries which is about my tech journey. It is available on Amazon. I hope to inspire and motivate someone out there.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I love gardening.

Do you have a favourite quote?
Yes, I do; “Choose your battles wisely” ~ C. JoyBell C. You live to fight another day.

Any word of encouragement for a young girl in STEM?
Women are powerful and have what it takes to overcome the many obstacles they face in a patriarchal society.

Thank you, Joy! It was wonderful having a chat with you. More wisdom and lessons learned.

By Winnie Nakiyingi

I smile...

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