Engineering sparks Kahima

Despite an improvement in recent years, there remains a serious shortage of women pursuing careers in engineering.

16 August 2019 | Business

Elizabeth Joseph

Sarah Kahima’s choice of pursuing a degree in electrical engineering has a lot to do with what sparked an interest In her while she was still in high school. She loved mathematics and physical science.

She is a go-getter and knew that when she got the opportunity to study, she would need to study something that is a challenge, and something that could help her broaden her knowledge.

“I always found it interesting how we could analyse something that we could never see, but could merely see its effects and detect its presence. Till this day I find it fascinating how we are able to achieve so much, because electrons can move. Of course not everybody would understand this, because as they say electrical engineers have to possess great imagination, because we deal with something we cannot see, yet are trained to be able to manipulate it into what we desire,” she said.

NAMWIE and WomEng

Kahima is involved in Namibia Women in Engineering (NAMWIE) and says the society has been an eye-opener and a starting point for changing the narrative about what is deemed normal in the field of engineering.

“NAMWIE has exposed me to so many successful female engineers, who are thriving in their careers while still being moms, wives and daughters. Also just recently I was given the honour to attend a fellowship with WomEng South Africa in Johannesburg, sponsored by De Beers.

“Again, this was truly a great experience for me. I can say that I have learned so much and my mind was exposed to a completely new level of thinking. Together, these experiences continue to help me defend why it is important to have women on board. Economic emancipation and economic growth in a country starts with having a good and strong workforce,” Kahima said.

She believes that women have gradually started to take their rightful positions in society and have come very far in doing so in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.

Kahima operates in the electrical engineering field, specifically power engineering. Power engineering has to do with analysing, exploring and assuming the most efficient yet economical way of generating, transmitting and distributing electricity to consumers.

Future plans

“After completing my undergrad I would definitely like to get some industry exposure and experience and then, depending on the needs of the industry and society, further my studies. Particularly, I would like to work for a service delivery body in Namibia to help ensure that the needs of Namibians are taken care of in terms of affordable and reliable electricity supply.

“I also see myself encouraging, motivating an advising girls and women in the engineering field on how to go about taking on the pressure and continuing to thrive,” she added.

Photos Contributed:

Cap1- Sarah Kahima sees herself encouraging and motivating girls and women in the engineering field.

Cap2- Sarah is part of the WomEng fellowship programme.

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