Spotlight on my journey as an engineer

I am a Shona, girl by birth and an Engineer by choice. My passion is in Civil, Water, and Sanitation Engineering.

At the age of 3 years I could write the letter S and A. My mother does not know who taught me, but one day she found me writing away. At the age of six years, I was enrolled in primary school. My parents encouraged me to work hard. I would bring home merit badges at the end of every other week, which made my parents proud. On the day of the grade 7 exams, my father said to me as I left for school, “Go and get your two units”. Two units meant getting an A, one for Math and one for English. One unit was the highest grading one could get. As I sat to write the exams, I told myself, failure was not an option. I could not let my parents down. And I didn’t.

After writing my O’ Level exams I got tired of sitting at home all day. I wanted to keep busy and also earn some cash. My father’s company was running a program which employed employees’ children on a casual basis during their school holidays to give the children a taste of the work environment. That is how I found myself at my father's company on a Monday at 7 am. A Human Resources Representative came to address us and arranged for us to be assigned to the various departments at the factory. As we waited for the Human Resources Representative to arrive, I saw a pickup truck pass by with huge pumps staked in the trunk, before it disappeared behind some buildings. I saw men in overalls written “Engineering” on the back, moving around with toolboxes. The curiosity in me was piqued. I had to see what they were all up to. I was the only student who chose Engineering. I was taken to the Stores and given a pair of overalls and safety shoes. I was excited! I was handed over to a team of men I would be working with.

The overalls completely swallowed me up, and the safety shoes were heavy.

It was an exercise to lift one foot and put it forward. On my first day, our team was called in because some blowers had failed to start and some milk that was to be used as a raw material to make powdered milk was at risk of getting spoiled. My team got to work. I was there to hand over the tools required, and I learned the names given to each tool in the process. After hours of hard work, the boilers kicked into life. The Operations team rushed in to save the milk.