Many students who score Grade ‘E’ are often associated with failures and are believed to struggle in terms of employment opportunities.
However, Angela Wamola defied these expectations and emerged as the Head of Strategy and Planning at Safaricom, one of the leading integrated communications companies in Africa.
Born and raised in Nairobi, during a past interview with The Standard, she described herself as the ‘black sheep’ of her family when it came to education.
“I was a typical ‘E’ student when it came to performance. Subjects such as Math and Physics were my worst. I struggled a lot in school,” she said.
But it was in Form Three that her life took an unexpected turn.
She recalls they were given forms to fill in the courses they wished to pursue in university after high school.
“I recalled that I had an uncle who was an engineer and to me, that sounded something cool. I chose that though I didn’t have an idea what it was all about,”
After high school, she went at the University of Nairobi to pursue a degree in Civil Engineering.
Her first year was challenging, with classes beginning from 8 am to 5 pm.
She couldn’t help but envy her friends who pursued less demanding courses.
“It was hard tackling pure Mathematics and Physics, and I felt like giving up.”
To make matters even worse, Angela found out that there were only six women in their class while the rest were men.
However, she realized that her determination and attitude were key to her success.
“It was amazing that things seemed even easier than they were when I got into third year. From what I went through, I learnt that attitude could make or destroy you,” she said.
With renewed determination, she excelled in her studies and, after five years of hard work, graduated with a second upper-class honors degree in Civil Engineering in 1999.
While her passion was initially for roads engineering, Angela adapted to the job market’s demands and ventured into IT-related fields.
She joined Computech and launched her career in technology. In 2011, she joined Safaricom and quickly rose through the ranks, proving herself as a talented engineer in the male-dominated telecommunications industry.
At Safaricom, she started with IT support work, where her male colleagues initially underestimated her physical abilities.
She was later promoted to head the core network planning and support department.
In this role, she became the first senior woman in the division’s leadership team.
Her journey at Safaricom didn’t stop there.
Angela’s hard work and innovative thinking led her to her current role as the Head of Strategy and Planning within the technology division.
In this capacity, she was responsible for designing and supporting Safaricom’s core network, voice and data services, national backbone, and enterprise solutions.