NAIROBI, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Anne Maluki drew inspiration from positive femininity displayed by her mother while growing up in the south-eastern Kenyan county of Kitui at a time when career dreams of many girls crashed due to limitations set by patriarchy.
The 33-year-old business administration major was determined at a tender age to prove her mettle in school with a realization that quality education could open a floodgate of opportunities in her adult life.
Maluki's stellar performance at a private university in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, secured her white-collar jobs with local companies at a relatively young age.
She is currently a manager at the Aftersales Service and Business Hall Departments in the Chinese pay television firm, StarTimes, where she has worked for the last eight years.
"I oversee both departments and ensure smooth day-to-day operations," Maluki said during an interview in Nairobi ahead of International Women's Day to be marked Monday.
Her ability to multi-task combined with people's skills has ensured that local StarTimes' clients are provided with quality after-sales service by a cohesive team of technicians whom she oversees.
"My team ensures that StarTimes customers have a good customer experience when they visit our shops or when they are visited by our Aftersales technicians," said Maluki.
She belongs to a growing list of young Kenyan women professionals whose career mobility is accelerating thanks to opportunities provided by Chinese companies based in the east African Nation.
Maluki said the theme of this year's International Women's Day "Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 World" serves as a wake-up call for organizations to bridge gender gap at all managerial levels in order to realize success.
She credits StarTimes executives for recognizing her talent and capabilities regardless of her gender, adding that her eight-year stint at the company has been rewarding in terms of professional growth and financial independence.
Maluki's Aftersales Department was tasked by StarTimes to implement the 800 digital villages project in Kenya that involves installation of satellite television dishes, high-definition set top boxes and other accessories to boost connectivity in underserved parts of the country.
She said the project has narrowed urban-rural digital divide in Kenya besides providing gainful employment to youth who were hired to work as installers and maintenance personnel.
Maluki said that her active involvement in the digital villages project implemented by StarTimes in conjunction with Kenya's ICT ministry boosted her managerial skills that she hopes to apply and transform her hometown.
"The management experience I gained, which is inclusive of real hands-on experience would ensure success in whatever project that would improve the livelihoods of my hometown," said Maluki.
She said the 800 digital villages project in Kenya, which is part of the 10,000 digital villages project implemented by StarTimes across Africa, has ensured that local youth have access to content that is educative and entertaining.
Her visits to China in 2017 and 2019 opened her eyes to the Asian nation's rich culture, technological progress and people-centered development that has won global recognition.
"Overall the visits were a privilege, an eye-opener and a wonderful learning experience. Africa should borrow a leaf especially when it comes to the technology and philosophy which is way advanced," said Maluki.
While in China, she visited historic sites in the capital, Beijing, including the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall of China.
Maluki also visited Shanghai where she marveled at the sight of landmarks like the Oriental Pearl TV Tower, that is one of China's most iconic skyscrapers.
"I was most amazed by the different LED sequences during the night. I also visited the amazing Huangpu River Cruise which is especially stunning at night as both river banks are brilliantly illuminated," said Maluki.
She said a visit to the Shanghai History Museum increased her knowledge of the city's rich art, culture and journey towards industrialization.
Maluki said she has developed an affinity towards China's concept of community-driven economic growth that she believes can resonate with her compatriots.
She said the digital villages project, which involved local communities at every level of implementation, increased her appreciation of people-centered development espoused by Beijing.
"I believe that the rural community is the bedrock of development and the focus on the rural community will eventually lead to a faster pace of development countrywide," said Maluki.
She aspires to mentor young girls at the grassroots and expose them to career pursuits that can transform their livelihoods.Enditem