I'm not sure I can fairly lump together each of my peers' experiences, but I think it's safe to say, there is a general consensus that there was hardly any career guidance if you went to school in Kenya between 1990 and 2010.
The idea of guidance was you had 5 options of what to do in University if you got really good grades: Medicine, Law, Engineering, Architecture or Business. Otherwise, you do whatever else you're called to do if you don't make the grade for these options. Basically, our paths were determined by the University Placement Board, never mind what you selected on your course choices. If you ask me, that's a particularly narrow-minded view of what skills people actually need not just to earn a living but also to survive and thrive in the world.
This, inevitably, leads to a mental bias against these subjects by young girls because they have been "pre-determined" to be better suited for a particular gender. Worse still, it puts you at a disadvantage if you do, nonetheless, decide to pursue a course like Engineering and your first exposure to drawing and/or computers is in your 1st year of University.
I hope it serves to encourage more young African girls to be brave as they make choices not only in their careers but also concerning their values, their bodies and ultimately their legacy.
In the words of the late, great Nelson Mandela, "May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears".
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*This article was written by Martha Wakoli. Hopefully, in 2018, the writing will be consistent.
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