Her name is Amarachi, 😁 (which actually means the same thing as Amarachukwu though).
She is a software developer, Google certified Educator and a prize nominee for the Active Citizenship In Education Awards who is very passionate about education, technology and community.
Amarachi is a firm believer in strong advocate for learning, personal development and gender including and diversification. She currently serves as the co-lead Forloop Aba, a community of passionate software developers and enthusiasts across Africa. A community manager with She Code Africa (@shecodeafrica), a non-profit organisation with the aim of celebrating and empowering young girls and women in technology.
She has a strong belief that technology is a tool for societal advancement and should be introduced to kids at an early stage. This prompted Amarachi to launch Techducation Point, a platform that focuses on providing kids and teenagers with resources and mentorship needed for technological advancement and subsequently provide solutions to real world problems.
She is passionate about Programming and problem solving, Amarachi acts as mentor with Technovation, Developer Circles from Facebook and the Innovative Child Network where they mentor learners on using technology for problem solving.
Her aim is to ensure quality education is provided for every child, and hence she led the Abia State 1 child 1 book campaign 2020 which just ended last month.
Amarachi loves to pen down tips on technology for newbies and kids tech on her blogs; “Baby steps and Techducation Point”.
She was born in a remote town, in Imo State Nigeria. Amarachi holds a BSc (First class hons) in Computer Science from the prestigious Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike.
Amarachi shared that education in Nigeria is currently facing many challenges, and although individuals, firms and organizations are putting their hands on deck in bridging the learning divide and creating equality .The educational leverage of the rich and the poor, unfortunately has mostly been a scratch on the surface.
Nigeria’s education system is bisected with a myriad of problems. These include; poor funding and thus poor educational infrastructures, inadequate classrooms, teaching aids (projectors, Computers, Laboratories and libraries), paucity of quality teachers and poor/polluted learning environment, incessant striking by the educational bodies and sometimes, use of outdated curriculum and teaching practices.
Amarachi is a Community Manager at She Code Africa. She Code Africa is a non-profit organisation focused on celebrating and empowering young girls and women in technology (Code Queens) across Africa.
As a She Code Africa Community manager, her role cuts across setting and implementing social media and communication campaigns . She is also involved with strategies in alliance with their core mission, providing engaging texts, images and video content for social media accounts. In addition, she also responds to comments and queries from members of the community in a timely manner. She ensures that her space is a safe harbour for growing women in tech within her environment.
Amarachi shared why she is interested in technology and her response was, “If you mean why I love tech, then I can write a whole article on that”.
Technology has a lot of advantages in every sphere of life. The opportunities, the efficiency, the speed. “What’s not to love about technology”? Amarachi said.
The more she studies and understands technology, the more it fascinates her. “Seems like with tech, nothing is truly out of reach”.
Her interest in technology stems from being raised in a non-tech savvy environment where even watching TV was a rarity. It was considered a privilege to touch a keyboard, and she did, “TWICE”, and both times, it was just to type in the letters of her name. She was 16 ,when she started to truly operate a system (Basic computer Appreciation and packages) The joy, it was to first delve into the absolute beauty called “tech”.
As a computer science student in the university, she gained very little practical knowledge where required, and the few times she was taught. She only executed her codes on paper, and when she had a chance to use someone’s PC to execute, she was always thrilled and fascinated to be actually ‘instructing’ a computer.
Despite graduating top of her class, Amarachi knew that she needed to bridge this gap to some students whose cases might even be worse than hers. Therefore, upon getting her PC, she began to learn programming.
Amarachi furthered shared with us about the inadequacy of reading culture in Nigeria. The reading culture in Nigeria is currently suffering a decline which stems from, lack of quiet and conducive reading environment and inadequate books
More so, due to the pandemic, it is imminent that the reading culture will drop even more, because many students are currently out of school.
Therefore, #1Child1Book campaign aims to address this challenge. The campaign is aimed at helping children have access to good books that will cause mental reconstructions, character formations, and augment their intellectual capability, an initiative of The Innovative Child Network, which she championed the campaign in Abia. They have raised over 250 books which will be distributed to students upon ease of the lockdown.
Amarachi shared with us about how the role of patriarchy in Nigeria has affected leadership. Women are a major stakeholder in the development project of any society .Although they have different physiological qualities from men, they do not differ when it comes to educational and policy making capabilities.
However, in Nigeria (as well as most the African countries), the obnoxious act of gender inequality still persists.
In our families (which is where it all starts), men are trained to become leaders while the women are trained to be more domestic inclined.
Hence, the more you climb the corporate ladder, the fewer the women, and climbing the leadership ladder has not been easy or even manageable for women.
There are still more men CEOs in the workforce, and the leadership standard primarily has been based on masculine characteristics, which means that for a woman to lead, she will have to take up male characteristics. Which eventually makes it rather difficult for the few females up there. These are some of the reasons why many women might not climb the leadership ladder.
The work schedule is set in a way that does not allow for adequate family time or dual responsibilities. As a result, women leave inflexible work cultures and abandon lifetime opportunities because of kids or childbearing etc. Feminization of certain occupations. There is a need to redefine cultural beliefs and categorizations of women.
Amarachi’s words of wisdom to African women on why they should continue taking up spaces.
Parkwell asked “Was it modesty that dictated we sit demurely with our legs crossed or an insidious belief that we should make ourselves smaller, contort ourselves into neat manageable packages and in taking up less space, apologise for the space we were taking?”
Gender equity is fundamentally about voice, place and space. In patriarchal societies, women are placed behind, under, after, spaced small, and muted.
However, we have a couple of women who have risen and shattered glass ceilings. Women who constantly lay out the model for women on how much we can achieve, and how far we can get if only we learn to self-promote and take charge. Likes of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Oby Ezekwesili, Odun Eweniyi, Khanyi Dhlomo, Ada Nduka Oyom, Bonang Matheba and a whole lot of others.
As an African woman, now more than ever, you have a voice. Utilize it!