With technology being seen as a man’s world and the gender digital gap getting wider, especially in Africa, the story of young women who dare to build in a career technology regardless of these factors, is a story that should be told.
Today we explore the journey of eight girls into technology through the help of the EveryGirl programme, to get a glimpse of their experiences and provide leverage for girls contemplating this path.
EveryGirl is the debut programme of the KSH Foundation, designed holistically for young women entrepreneurs between the ages of 15-19 with interest in technology and tech-related fields and prepping them for a career in tech and the world. KSH Foundation is a non-profit organisation that seeks to leverage technology and entrepreneurship and its role in early human development. From desiring generic careers like medicine, law, nursing and now pivoting into tech-enabled solutions, these young women shared with us their experiences with technology and how beneficial the EveryGirl programme has been for them.
Aisha Ahmad, 17, Programming
I desired to be a pilot; I loved their outfits and adventures in different cities. My first encountered with tech was in SS1, a teacher had asked us to create a program at the time and I had no idea how to go about it. Consequently, I was fascinated. From the access tech afforded; online courses to job opportunities, the potential for business growth, and shopping which can be done anywhere in the world. The EveryGirl programme transformed me from timid to confident, improved my self-esteem, and provided an opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded girls.
Alheri Habila, 18
I wanted to be a medical doctor. I was exposed to tech very early (JSS 1) through basic technology. This opened me up to tech and my participation in several other tech pieces of training deepened my appetite. I particularly love the practicality of tech, because almost all my five senses are engaged, making it relatively easy and fun for me. The EveryGirl programme significantly widened my horizon and understanding of the technology world. It’s different because I also developed mental stamina through the assignments and projects. I also came up with a business idea that could change my community and the world.
Obika Victoria Chioma, 19
I wanted a popular and prestigious profession, hence I chose law. My encounter with tech was through my mum’s place of work; I loved to play games so I started exploring. I love that it helps solve problems and equips me to be a problem solver which has refined my outlook on life. The EveryGirl programme was a very exciting experience for me. It equipped me physically, mentally, and emotionally. It felt as though someone was holding my hand and teaching me to thrive in the world of technology.
Emily Rachel, 19
Like most young girls, I dreamed of being a medical doctor. However, my fascination with codes, instructions and computers changed everything. I found it intriguing how a designed output differed from code sets. A friend introduced me to web development, and although I found it difficult initially, eventually, I got the hang of it through an event organized by FemCode Africa. This changed my dream. Tech allows me to solve problems and also gives me the freedom to write codes with a desired output in mind. The highlight of the EveryGirl programme for me was that it taught me to be confident, improved my self-esteem, and taught me to use my voice. It also opened my eyes to business systems and helped kick-started my ideas.
Aisha Daodu, 19, Full Stack Developer
As a child, I was fascinated by lawyers. I enjoyed seeing them solve problems for people. I encountered tech through the Abocoders Academy class, after which I remained passionate about tech. I love the ever-evolving tech industry, with no boundaries and limits yet improving our daily lives. I’m particularly intrigued by the problem-solving ability of tech. The EveryGirl programme virtual classes were enlightening and provided a head start for me in building my career. It provided me with real-life visualization of my ideas and their potential.
Nafisat Abdullahi, 18,
When I was much younger, I wanted to be a nurse. I first encountered tech through the digital literacy programme by Abocoder. I love tech because I can be anything through learning from the comfort of my home. Also, I can write codes to build anything and see it immediately. The EveryGirl beyond the technical classes taught me to be confident, amplify my strengths, work on my weakness, and most importantly that being a girl who is young in tech is not a disadvantage.
Aisha Umar Gimba, 20, Programming
Being a pilot was my dream. However, that changed after I joined Google Developer Student Club in my college where my interest in tech was cultivated. I love the ease tech has provided in every area of human endeavour, the world is evolving and tech has inevitably become part of human life. The EveryGirl programme covered classes on several areas of my interest including self-development courses that helped me have a better outlook on myself. As a tech enthusiast and budding entrepreneur, I found the EveryGirl programme an opportunity to up-skill and showcase my passion.
Omotola Ojegbile, 18
When I was much younger, I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. I attended a program aimed at introducing girls to tech; that was where my passion and love for tech was ignited. I love to Code; then there’s the fact that the first programmers were women, the money is also great. In my opinion, coding can ‘power up’ your brain. I became so engrossed that I forgot about my initial dream, I realized it’s potential to make our lives better. The EveryGirl programme was adventurous, enlightening and fun. I was also stretched but I loved it. I learnt skills and mental
attitudes to make my journey easier.
One clear recurring theme in these 8 stories, is the audacity to dare, to dream beyond your limitations and be open to learning creative ways to tackle socio-economic issues in your community. It has been a journey of hope and growth, powering through self doubt, the promise of prestige and societal pressure.
The EveryGirl programme strategically paid attention to these challenges which are common with early human development, especially with girls with interest in a male-dominated industry. For the transformation they have received, they are encouraging others, girls, to chase their dreams and never give up. And they believe that this is only the beginning of an inspiring story.
We can be reached via email — firstname.lastname@example.org — and you can follow us on social media — @ksh_foundation on Instagram and KSH Foundation on Facebook.