Name: Zimkhita Buwa
Designation: BI Manager & SAP Mentor
What do you do every day? I help organisations to make sense of their data. Helping them find the gold in their mountain of data is rewarding. I am a true data geek who is also passionate about data visualisation!
I am a SiliconCape Exco Member heading up the Students & Careers Portfolio. I am passionate about helping other women and am a founding member of the STEM-IT-Forward non-profit with five amazing women. STEM-IT-forward aims to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths careers to young girls.
How did you get into the tech space? My brother and I are two years apart and we were always competitive. He chose Information Technology as his major and came back home flaunting his new found programming skill. Of course, not to be outdone, I also decided to register for a tech-related course to prove that whatever he could do, I could do. Needless to say what started out as a competition is now not only my bread and butter but my passion.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Last year I had the honour of being part of the Techwomen Programme where 78 amazing women from Africa and the Middle East were selected to spend six weeks in Silicon Valley being mentored by other women at various big tech companies. We were allocated two mentors, a cultural mentor and professional mentor. The best advice came from these two amazing women. Barbara Williams, my cultural mentor, said, “Do it afraid” and my professional mentor, Tanya Kobyluk, used to tell me often: “Believe in yourself, believe that you are amazing”. I miss my two pillars!
Another piece of advice came while watching Oprah interview LLCoolJ, he said, “Dreams don’t have deadlines”.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? I would tell them to find themselves a mentor who can assist them with their journey. A lot of us thought we have to do it on our own. Find someone who is already in the tech sector, even if they seem inaccessible, ask….learn from them. Did I mention ask….yes! Ask as many questions as possible – you will see it won’t be as daunting and it will save you a lot of time and save you from making unnecessary mistakes!
What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My family, my little nugget (4-year old boy) who thinks I’m a Ninja Turtle, making a difference in my professional capacity and also helping other young people realise their potential.
Who do you want to be when you grow up? A combination of my sister and my mother. My sister because of her strength, confidence and sheer determination to be the best she can possibly be. My mother because of her compassion and her ability to be a mother to anyone who crosses her path!
Find me on:
Blogs: https://storify.com/zimbuwa, http://www.siliconcape.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2nc72vfv4u5hp