It gives us so much joy to see talent overflow among young African women. Meet 22-year-old Anita who is already making her mark in health research;
Hi Anita. Thank you for accepting to join us today
Hi Winnie, I am glad to be part of the work you do, which I greatly admire. I have been inspired by the stories I have read so far of the ladies in STEM.
Thank you for the encouragement and kind words.
Briefly, who is Anita?
My name is Anita Kerubo Makori from Kenya. I will be 23 years old in April. Currently, I am a Research Assistant at the Center for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis (CEMA). The work we do at CEMA-Africa helps guide decision-making in health using data. Among other things, the Center is responsible for guiding the Kenyan government on the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. We do this by applying statistical and epidemiological principles in analyzing health data to monitor trends and forecast possible outcomes. This helps decision-makers to implement appropriate interventions.
I concurrently work with the Washington State University Global Health Program in Kenya. Here we conduct One Health research (interdisciplinary research that brings together human, animal, and environmental health sectors) that aims to address health problems in Kenya.
I am also a mentor with the Global Give Back Circle, where we mentor young girls from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue their dreams and live to their full potential.
How did you end up in Health Research?
All through my primary and high school education, mathematics was my favorite subject and I always excelled in it. However, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in health. For this reason, I was very conflicted when it came time to choose an undergraduate degree after my final high school exams.
My father suggested a course he had seen online, BSc. Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and after researching what it was about, my decision was made. That is how I ended up at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST), which was the only university offering the course in the country at the time. Upon graduating, I reached out to CEMA-Africa for an internship position which I was offered and after the six-month internship period, I was retained as a Research Assistant.
What challenges have you faced along your STEM career path?
The degree I pursued during my undergraduate studies was very new in the country at the time and not many people knew about it. With this came several concerns from people, many of which were not encouraging. Some even expressly said that they didn’t think I would find a job after graduating.
What kept you from giving up on yourself during that challenging time?
One thing about me is that once I set my mind on doing something, I will do it. This mindset has enabled me to push myself beyond my limits and achieve my goals despite occasionally receiving critiques.
I am also an avid reader and I specifically enjoy reading autobiographies. I draw my inspiration from people’s journeys; learning about the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
Lastly, I have a very supportive family. Whenever I feel discouraged, one call to any of my family members is enough to raise my spirits and put me back on track.
You are a hard-working person; tell us about your most prestigious moments of recognitions
I graduated top of my class with First Class Honors and was awarded Best overall student from the Department of Public Health in my year.
I am also happy to share that I have been accepted to pursue a Master of Science in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford, starting this October (2022).
Who are you outside work?
Outside work, I am a social butterfly. I enjoy traveling, listening to music, and dancing.
What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is from my current favorite book, Becoming by Michelle Obama. It says: “You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to make the world as it should be.”
Another quote I love is: “You can’t grow with people who don’t like how growth looks on you” by Valencia (Source: Twitter).
Some encouraging words for a young girl in STEM;
STEM is fun! I enjoy what I do every day. That is not to say, however, that it is easy. But you can do it and we need more girls like you here. Also, you might get into workspaces where you are only one of the two girls there, don’t be intimidated. Own your space and act as you deserve it because you do.
Lastly, you can achieve whatever goal you have in mind if you just put in the work.
“Proud of you” is an understatement, Anita! Thank you for standing tall at every opportunity. I wish you so much success ahead, and please, enjoy Oxford.
Wow! Perfect expression, excellent language. Very convincing on her potentials. Just go on to te top of ua dream, Anita
Thank you for reading, Duke!
I am proud of you Anita
We share that in common about her.
Am proud of you Anita sky is the limit open a way for your cousins to follow
Thank you for reading, Lydia!
Thank you Nelly
Go go go! Baby girl, sky is the limit. So proud of you.
Thank you for being in Anita’s corner, Lilian.
This is very inspiring. Go go go girl 🎉
Thank you for reading, Vivian.
Young and brilliant.. Congratulations Anita am proud and happy for you. Keep the energy as you move higher🎊🌹
Thank you for reading, Becky.
Go!go!baby gal we are so proud of you and blessed to have you. Keep on inspiring young women around the globe. Congratulations!!!!
Thank you for reading, Jackline.
Wow;so encouraging, congratulations babygirl,
Very inspiring, even to us who wrote the story.
Wow! This is awesome Anita am proud of you girl, i saw you when you were 3 Years old, you are a big girl now and very inspiring.. congratulations 🎉👏👏and all the best..
Wow! We enjoy hearing from people who know our guests personally. Thanks for reading, Eudes.
Cuzo may Almighty God continue guiding you through.
Amen to that! Thank you for reading, Faridah.
It takes discipline, determination and focus to stay on top of the game and Anita is a reflection of all these. Keep souring high.
These are very kind words. Thank you, Rosemary, for encouraging Anita.
Wow just wow Anita, you are a butterfly that will fly high, divine.
Thank you for reading, Gladys.
Congratulations Anita🥳🥳This is very inspiring
Thank you for reading, Ivy.
Congratulation Anita, May God continue lifting from one glory to another in Jesus Name. Just aim higher all times. Thumbs up Kerubo.Your story is an inspiration to all.
Amen and amen! Thank you, Deborah!
Wow what amight encouraging one, go, go girl you are yourself Anita
Thank you for reading, Nisha.
Go Anita Goo!
Success in your endevour
Thank you for the support, Michael.
Congratulations Anita, you are really setting the pace for many young ladies in research. I’m inspired
She really is! Thank you for reading, Edna.
So proud of you STEM girl. Keep flying high miss butterfly 🦋
Amen to that, Sylvia.
Very articulate and purposive. Keep it up!
Thank you for reading, Duke.
Congratulations Anita all the very best
I’m inspired. Congratulations, Anita. All the best as you join Oxford!
Thank you for reading, Dennis.
Wow I am personally so proud of you Anita, Indeed you looked promising to me back in the days… Just persue your goals and just know your are an incredible lady, doing incredible things with incredible ideas. Cheers 😘