It’s been six years and seven months since I was a part of the AkiraChix story. When we started AkiraChix I was and still am fueled by the desire to see a greater representation of women in the field of technology. We had our first AkiraChix meet up on 29th May 2010 at the iHub. This was when the iHub had grey concrete floors, white walls and the lifts in the building did not work. We used to walk up four flights of stairs to discuss code among fellow women in technology. We now have our own office cum training space on the ground floor of the Bishop Magua Centre where there once was a shoe shop. We have grown from hosting meet ups only to running four successful initiatives: the training program, the high school outreach program, the kids outreach program and the community building program.
Over the course of the years my desire has evolved to not just seeing more women working in the field, but also seeing their lives enriched by interactions with technology in a more holistic way. I have also expanded my experience to working with young children and mentoring young men and women in the tech-ecosystem. I have been privileged to witness and be a part of a number of highlights during my time working with AkiraChix:
- Organizing the first series of all female technology themed events
- Overseeing the first research on women’s attitudes to technology in Kenya (we still need more gender disaggregated statistics btw)
- Mentoring the young women through our various programs
- Building relationships and partnerships with individuals, companies and organizations based in Kenya and internationally
Starting this month I will commence my transition out of AkiraChix. This means I will not be actively involved in the day-to-day activities in AkiraChix. I will use this time to explore opportunities at the intersection of women, youth, governance and Technology. As I grow older I realize that the small moments and interruptions actually make the big moments. When we started AkiraChix, it was not part of my life plan; it seemed to be a blip on my radar while I worked on my ‘actual plan for life’. But it has become one of the best growing and learning experiences of my life. As I head on to my next journey in life, I will remember to take the road less travelled and to never despise the days of small beginnings because they make great endings.
There is an African proverb that says, “alone you go faster, together you go further”. This great journey of AkiraChix would not have been possible without the support of the AkiraChix community, our partners, the AkiraChix leadership team and the AkiraChix staff. I hope you will continue to support the leadership team(my fellow co-founders Angela, Linda and Marie) as they continue to lead African women in technology.
I will now leave you with a quote from the controversial academic, Margaret Mead, which I held on to when we started AkiraChix and still rings true today, “ Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”