The African Dream

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Inspiring African Stories

From not having enough money for food to being the first Kenyan to go to space

Wanjiku Chebet Kanjumba is a Kenyan-born Aerospace Engineer, Entrepreneur and Director of Space Partnerships and Research Company – the first independent space company in Africa.

She is the co-founder, CEO, and chairwoman of Vicillion, a global infrastructure development firm. But like many Africans, Kanjumba struggled and even went through days without sufficient money for food before her rise to success.

Wanjiku Kanjumba is Kenya’s first Scientist-Astronaut Candidate Program Graduate from the Advanced PoSSUM Space Academy, USA. The aerospace engineer holds a Master of Science (MSc) in Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Her firm, Vicillion, is a technology research and development firm that specializes in bringing their clients’ product ideas to reality. Wanjiku Kanjumba is also the Director of Space Partnerships and Research Company (SPARC), East Africa’s first independent space company.

“When I was younger, I was interested in science and learning about how the world worked and objects from outer space. So, I wanted to combine my passion for learning about space and how things work – and the answer was Aerospace Engineering,” Wanjiku revealed.

Reminiscing on her journey to being the first Kenyan to go to space, Wanjiku stated, “Pursuing my education has not been free of obstacles. Studying in the United States is very expensive, and I was supported mainly by my widowed mother; my father died from cancer when I was 12. She had to sacrifice a lot to educate me, and there were times when things were challenging when I did not have enough money for food or was not sure I would even graduate. It was not easy, but God has been faithful to us immensely and saw me through my Bachelor’s and Master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering. I am also working on my own company, aiming to write my name in the sands of time.”

If you live with limitations on yourself, you won’t accomplish much, but the world is your oyster if you put no limits. There’s nothing worse than living in regret, so take a chance on yourself; you are capable of a lot more than you think

Wanjiku Kanjumba

Delvid Stanley-Coker

Delvid Stanley-Coker is a dedicated writer and editor for The African Dream. His passion and desire to publicize the appreciable department of Africa and voice out the prevalent ills of society have adequately contributed to the promulgation of stories of different sorts. Email: WhatsApp: +23276737886 Facebook: Delvid Stanley-Coker.

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