Nyakan June Munyeki reveals why women’s success is a win for Africa
She gets a kick out of doing things that are considered out of the norm and she does it with courage.
After all Nyakan June Munyeki did not think twice about walking away from a 16-year career in the corporate world. In fact she turned down a promotion to a senior position in a global firm to start her own company, Timeless and Dynamic Services Limited.
“No one could understand why I left a well-paying job and I had doubts too, especially with pending commitments such as raising my four children. However, my husband’s support and the determination I had to make a change is what kept me going,” says Munyeki.
With time she started the Timeless Women of Wonder Foundation (TWOW), a subsidiary of Timeless and Dynamic Services Limited, to fulfill her dream of helping women discover their full potential by venturing into male-dominated careers.
“Women are not engaged in dialogue on issues that are pertinent to the continent. I felt the need to have them step up and be part of the bigger picture,” says Munyeki.
TWOW is responsible for designing and implementing initiatives that will help women play a role in the social and economic transformation of Africa and empowers them to optimise their potential.
“I wanted to start an organisation that empowers women to take up jobs that are otherwise viewed to be a preserve of men,” explains Munyeki.
Recently, Munyeki organised a week-long workshop in Nairobi where women got the opportunity to learn skills such as carpentry, mechanics and other male-dominated jobs.
After such training the women get certificates and are linked up with potential employers. Her company also organises the annual Timeless Women’s Conference to engage women in dialogue on issues pertaining to development in Africa.
Munyeki says that given the opportunity to change one thing in Kenya, she would definitely go for the education system.
“Africa’s biggest potential lies in the education sector because this is a platform to shape and change the mind-set of the youth so that they can maximise their full potential,” she says.
Perhaps this is why Munyeki notes that although she had the opportunity to study abroad like her siblings, she opted for the Kenyan education system so that she could work on the same platform as everyone else.
“I did some post-graduate programmes online but, by and large, I chose to study here in Kenya. I even went to public schools as my siblings did the international system and went abroad. I did not want to follow that route,” Munyeki says.
“I feel that I made the right choice because I’m grounded in a way and that makes me understand some of the things we can build on as a country and what we can change for the better,” she says.
Munyeki attributes her accomplishments to her parents, who she says helped shape her vision in life.
“My dad pushed me to do things that I had not done before and made me a trailblazer. He actually inspired the confidence that I have. My mum, on the other hand, gave me the culture of diligence and hard work,” Munyeki explains.
Looking back, Munyeki does not have any regrets that she left a well-paying job to venture into the unknown. “I looked at the alternative and looking back was never an option so this is what I will do until the day I meet my maker because this is my purpose in life,” she reiterates.
As a way of driving innovation among women, Munyeki has started an initiative across the counties starting with Nairobi that deals with introducing women to male dominated sectors such as mining. “The initiative cuts across counties,” she says.
Munyeki expounds: “We are training women in batches of 500. We are working with women at both the top and lower levels. The reason we work with women at the top level is because they are where policies are made and they create the enabling environment for more women by empowering those at the grassroots level.”
- Courtesy of People Daily