I know Winnie through a friend of mine, an engineer and a fellow women in STEM advocate in Tanzania. Here is our interview about Winnie’s scientific journey:
Thank you for joining us today.
You are welcome
Kindly introduce yourself please.
My name is Winifrida Emanuel Chaula. I was born in Makambako town, Njombe Tanzania, in a family of three kids, as the first born. I went to Bwawani primary school, then Makambako secondary school in Njombe region. After my ordinary level, I went to one of the most special schools in Tanzania, Kilakala girls in Morogoro region. Talking about this still excites me to-date because it was my dream school since I was in primary. After advanced school I went for military training for three months then got an opportunity to be enrolled at the university of Dar es salaam, college of science and technology (COET), for a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering.
Soon after completion of my undergraduate studies, I started selling fruit salads for six months in order to manage life after university. In early 2018, I started internship at the largest project in Tanzania, Kinyerezi II 240 MW Combined cycle power plant CCPP, then Kinyerezi I 185MW extension project as a QA/QC Electrical Engineer. At the end of this project, I joined another big extension project in East Africa called Ubungo Substation, 300MVA extension project as a site Engineer.
Currently, I am an Electrical Engineer, attending the Standard Gauge railway project as a trainee Engineer. The project is in its first phase and runs from Dar es salaam to Morogoro. Since the technology of railway electrification is new in Tanzania and East Africa in general, there’s quite a few new things to learn. Currently we are doing earth works, tower erection for substations and electrical installations in train stations.
What is your daily source of inspiration?
Being the first born and only girl in my family motivates me a lot to archive my dreams. But also, thinking about how much I have achieved through all the projects I have been part of keeps me going. I know I can achieve more if I don’t give up.
What is the main challenge you have faced as a female engineer?
Being a woman in the engineering industry, especially in construction projects, is not easy. Since the industry is men dominated, most times I find it very difficult to convince employers that I can actually do my job perfectly.
Who is Winnie outside work?
😄😄😄 Outside work I think I am not the Winnie you can see at construction sites. I am quite different. Take a look at this, LOL!
Any additional words?
What I believe is nothing is impossible for those who believe. As long you believe, you can go beyond your expectations. I encourage young girls to believe in themselves and in what they are doing.
Thank you Winnie for taking your time to speak to me.