Spotlight on EIT: Gathigia Njiiri

Abu Okari | Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

Gathigia Njiiri, also known as Sheidy, has many interests in life. However, this native of Nairobi is all about self awareness, and doesn’t mind occasionally throwing in a YouTube link to help illustrate a point through song. Read on to find out, among other things, what the best moments of her stay at MEST have been.

What were you doing before joining MEST?

I was working as a Product Manager at a startup that builds sales force automation products, and is an SAP partner. I was also endlessly obsessing over tech and self awareness.

What motivated you to join MEST?

I wanted more! Every year I do one big thing for myself before the next birthday, and the goal for this year was MEST.

Secondly, I needed an environment that pushes me to learn as much as I can, so I can significantly contribute to innovation and development in Africa. I want to be exceptionally good at something I enjoy doing. I want to be a tech entrepreneur, and I needed that international standard of guidance to equip myself with skill, exposure and network.

Thirdly, who doesn’t want to go to MEST?

Why do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?

I’ve taken a minute to really think about this question, and I almost gave a generic answer. But the truth is I tried employment, and everyday I saw something I could fix or do better. So I decided to hack the best out of life, to build a different narrative for myself, and stay curious.

MEST is a lifestyle, not a school. We are a dope community of brilliant folks who constantly challenge themselves to do and be something. Your bad days don’t last too long because around here, there’s a higher purpose. The best part is the colleagues.

Why entrepreneurship – what drove you down that path?

Two reasons: a selfless one and a selfish one. As for the selfless reason, I feel a certain song I like, by a certain artist I adore during a beautiful humanitarian event, would best express my motivation. Here is the link.

As for the selfish reason, My biggest fear is succumbing to a life of cowardice. I am a young woman with big dreams, and I challenge myself everyday to learn more and become a better equipped person to fulfill those dreams. Therefore, entrepreneurship is a great way to grow and express my best self. I also value time and financial independence. I create best when I have those.

Have you ever set up and, or, run a business? If yes, how many and what was(were) it(they) about?

I did onion farming at my 3rd year of university, it was a lot of fun, but school later demanded more of me. However, agribusiness is still something I want to do in the future.

What do you think of MEST, and have your expectations been met so far?

MEST is a lifestyle, not a school. We are a dope community of brilliant folks who constantly challenge themselves to do and be something. Your bad days don’t last too long because around here, there’s a higher purpose. The best part is the colleagues. They are a buzz of intelligence and, sometimes, that can be intimidating. There’s something to learn from someone every day.

It’s also so much fun to coexist in a Pan-African setting and the different accents are so exciting. They will definitely rub off on you, chale!

My expectations have been met and I don’t fret about what happens after this. I just know it’s been a worthy experience.

 

What has been your best moment at MEST so far?

Being at the Chale Wote Festival with my BBB team selling cocktails was such a fun experience, and we made a decent amount of money. Being an event that’s all about expression and art, I lived the full experience. I danced on the street, felt genuine happiness being lost in the crowd in the middle of a concert, sang out loud, smiled at strangers and got face painted – I was a child all over again and if felt absolutely freeing!

 

The second one was a result of my never-ending soul searching.  It was during one of the classes, when I had an epiphany. I remember it was the 30th of August and Miishe (Business Teaching Fellow, Miishe Addy) was teaching. I remember that exact moment when I felt a belonging in my professional life. I felt at home with tech. I could finally identify the technical side that I’d be great at – something that comes more naturally to me. I’m crazy about innovation.