Nambajwe Sumini’s star is on the rise after her recent graduation with a Certificate in Electrical Installation at Nyamitanga Technical Institute in Mbarara, Western Uganda. Nambajwe is now a qualified domestic electrician, thanks to the KCB-GIZ Twekozese programme. She is one of the over 2,165 youths, who graduated between 2021 and 2023 after completing courses in various vocational skills from 13 vocational institutes across the country under KCB-GIZ sponsorship.
Like many beneficiaries of the Twekozese Programme, Nambajwe did not struggle to get a job after graduation. Being among the best-performing students in her class, she was retained at Nyamitanga Technical Institute to train fellow beneficiaries. To add icing to her already really sweet cake, upon graduation she was awarded a scholarship, for the national certificate in electrical installation and maintenance systems.
Asked about why she chose the course, Nambajwe couldn’t hold back her happiness as she explained her background.
She intimated, “I have always loved a challenge. I come from a background where most people believe certain jobs can only be done by men. The opportunity presented itself through the KCB-GIZ Twekozese Programme sponsorship which I took up to challenge the status quo or belief.”
Like most of her peers that benefitted from the programme, Nambajwe says it was no easy feat. Had it not been her desire to not only succeed, but come out on top, she would have given up along the way because there were many challenges to overcome.
Being from the central region, Nambajwe experienced culture shock, in terms of the language and food because she had never been to Mbarara. She also says that like many of her peers she lacked the tools needed for the practical part of the course.
Looking back, she says, “My journey with the programme was not that perfect but by God’s grace I managed to complete it well. I woke up every morning determined to win and that’s exactly what I did. Being far from home didn’t help matters since I had some cultural shocks like the common language used in Mbarara. But everyone at Nyamitanga Technical Institute was friendly and helpful. It has become my second home.”
As a competitive girl, Nambajwe says the desire to win and fear of disappointing her sponsors is what pushed her to excel amidst all the challenges.
It wasn’t however all challenges for her. She doesn’t hide her excitement at the memory of being among the best performing students that were given start up tool kits by sponsors; KCB and GIZ upon their graduation, as a reward for excellence.
She doesn’t hold back on boasting about how she, and her fellow beneficiaries are now using the acquired skills to earn an income and better their lives.
She has met some people, who like her, had given up hope of ever continuing with their education because of financial constraints, only to be given a second chance with the sponsorship.
The programme was a godsend for youth like her because they were equipped with hands on skills that can be put to practice anywhere in the world. And there are so many testimonies of youth across the country that are earning and improving not just their lives, but their communities using these skills.
She plans to make her parents, teachers and sponsors proud by becoming the best female engineer in Uganda and the region, and has no doubt that she can do it. She fell in love with Mbarara so much so that she plans on staying and investing there.
She says, “I have a plan of having the biggest electronics shop in Mbarara city and working hard to make my parents proud cause they had lost hope of me ever getting a decent education due to financial constraints.”
Nambajwe nowurges fellow youth never to lose hope, believe in themselves, not listen to naysayers, especially those that think one’s gender is a limitation to learning new skills. She emphasizes that the world is quickly changing and there are equal opportunities for both girls and boys. She advises the youth to seize every opportunity that comes because it could be that big break they have been praying for.
She cannot thank KCB and GIZ enough for the big contribution of shaping the future of thousands of youths across the country. “I urge them not stop with us that have so far graduated but keep giving hope to many more young people.” The sky can only be the limit for Nambajwe and many others like her.