Selina Wawuda overcame challenges in Mvita, Kenya, where financial constraints threatened her education and life prospects. The Ajira Digital program at Swahili Port Hub transformed her life, leading to a successful career as a transcriber and virtual assistant with a recent promotion. She shares her story with us.
Selina Wawuda Clemence grew up in Mvita, in Kenya’s coastal county of Mombasa, where she witnessed high rates of school dropouts and early pregnancies. The challenges her mother faced in raising her and her sister added to her concerns.
Despite excelling in high school, Selina faced depression as she struggled to afford university and had to defer to menial jobs. Unfortunately, these jobs were later eliminated due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Selina’s life took a positive turn when she discovered the Ajira Digital program, a collaboration between the Kenyan government and the Mastercard Foundation. At the Swahili Port Hub, one of the 100-plus Ajira Youth Empowerment Centres countrywide, she underwent transformative digital training. Now working as a transcriber and virtual assistant, with a recent promotion to Quality Analyst, she is excited about future prospects.
Who is Selina, and how was she introduced to the Ajira Digital program?
My name is Selina Wawuda Clemence, a legal transcriber and virtual assistant. I joined the Ajira Digital Program in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, introduced by Mr Richard Rwoti from the Ministry of Youth Affairs. Through the program, I received training in digital skills like transcription, virtual assistance, data entry, and digital marketing.
What have been your most significant moments of impact thus far?
Firstly, technology or digital skills awareness. I’ve gained extensive knowledge in the field of technology and digital skills. This includes learning how to use different platforms to find online job opportunities, discovering resources for upskilling, and becoming proficient in using various tools, software, and workspaces that are in high demand in the job market, particularly for freelancers.
Secondly, an advanced career. I have seen significant advancement in my career. After training as a transcriptionist, I’ve excelled in my job and been promoted to the position of Quality Analyst. This has not only helped me attract new clients and retain existing ones but has also allowed me to balance my transcription work alongside my regular 8-5 job.
Thirdly, I experienced improved living standards. Having multiple sources of income increased my financial stability, enabling me to enhance certain aspects of my personal life and career. This financial freedom allowed me to establish my personal brand as a legal transcriber and empower me as a woman.
Tell us about a time you felt unmotivated or uninspired and how you overcame it.
After being promoted to Quality Analyst (QA), I faced numerous challenges in supervising and providing feedback on my colleagues’ work. This resulted in much negativity and strained relationships to the point where I contemplated quitting my job. However, I persevered because I recognized the importance of the job and the progress I had already made. I chose to demonstrate professionalism and a strong work ethic, fulfilling my duties as a QA and offering constructive feedback as an opportunity for growth and improvement.
What advice would you offer young people aiming to make a difference in their communities or society?
In today’s era, technology provides us with abundant opportunities and equalizes opportunities, allowing individuals from diverse backgrounds to access knowledge and resources for life-changing transformations. It is imperative for young people to seize the available programs and resources.”
By acquiring such skills and knowledge, one can enhance their life by securing relevant employment through various platforms or connecting with communities that share similar aspirations, ultimately elevating the purpose of their life.
What legacy do you want to leave? How would you like to be remembered?
I aspire to be recognized as a community changemaker and a mentor for younger individuals who share a passion for making a positive impact. My goal is to start something that contributes to society and empowers African youth by promoting digital literacy and skills.
What motivates you to get up every day?
As a young girl, witnessing the challenges that our typical African family faced, I developed self-discipline and curiosity. Reflecting on my journey, I realize how far I have come. Along the way, I have encountered many young girls and boys who are facing similar obstacles. It is my strong desire to make a positive difference in their lives, assisting them in unlocking their full potential.
What is your dream for Africa’s youth?
African youths are valued assets in diverse career fields, innovations, and startup ventures, benefiting from a system that fosters exponential growth. It is important for young people to seize control of their lives and contribute to their communities, without having to leave their homeland. They should create diverse job opportunities and transform Africa into a thriving hub for technology across all professions.
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