Welcome to Hello World’s interview series showcasing the work of individuals and organisations that are championing education and helping marginalised communities to shape their own future.
EDUCATION IS… continuously re-skilling ourselves
Angela Mirembe Semwogerere is the Founder of Coding In Heels, a Social Enterprise that focuses on inspiring Girls and Women to embrace STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) with her focus on technology. She is a member of Uganda’s National Taskforce on emerging technologies – (Fourth Industrial Revolution- 4IR) and an IVLP (International Visitors Leadership Program) Alumni.
Angela is a speaker and a consultant, specifically advocating for girls and women to embrace technology and become acquainted with the trends of the Digital revolution. She provides support to girls and women through the use of inspirational talks and practical training.
Her life’s purpose is to be active in closing the digital gender gap and have women sit at the table and participate in shaping the future.
What did you dream of becoming as a child and what obstacles stood in your way?
As a child, I remember I always used to tell myself “I want to be great.” I was not sure what I wanted to be great at, but every time I looked at myself in the mirror those words would play out loud in my mind. It was later in my teenage years that I knew I wanted to be a speaker or trainer, especially after watching people like Zig Ziglar, Joyce Meyer and many other speakers and pastors on TV for the first time. I had no idea that I would spend my adult life speaking and providing training in technology for girls and women and being a speaker on various platforms.
If you could write on your school report, what advice / comments would you give yourself?
Hahaha wow, here goes.
“Angie is a highly intelligent little girl but loses focus easily in class as she spends a lot of time in thought and imagination. She has a lot of potential and wisdom to share with her classmates but silently struggles to express that incredible side of herself due to certain aspects of shyness and self doubt. However, if she can slowly learn to overcome them and stays focused, she will be shocked by the great person she will become in the future.“
Your social enterprise, ‘Coding in Heels,’ focuses on inspiring girls to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – what lessons has this work taught you?
I have learnt that graduating from a tertiary education is not the end of learning. We have to continuously re-skill ourselves. I have learnt that there are many roads that lead to success and if someone has not had the chance to take the traditional route of formal education that does not mean that they will not be a success. We often forget that our natural talents can make a way for us.
Finally, I have learnt never to underestimate people. I, for one, have heard it said many times that STEM Technology is too hard for women and yet over the years little girls from all around the world and all walks of life have grown up to do exceptional things and build great careers, despite their familial, cultural, educational or financial backgrounds.
We must never forget that we are only limited by our own beliefs. Once you know how to overcome them, you will be great.