Thursday, June 4, 2015

Turning her passion for Mentorship to elevate Young African Women – Meet Ms. Nodumo Dhlamini

Ms. Nodumo Dhlamini (center) with some of the Girls from AfChixUganda
Afchix Uganda was originally born as LinuxChix Uganda. It came about after a group of women led by Dorcas Muthoni and Ana Badimo met at Kalangala Island in Uganda in January 2006. Evelyn Namara and Lillian Achom championed the formation of LinuxChix Uganda. Evelyn was the board member for Eastern Africa on the LinuxChix Africa Board and Lillian Achom was the Council Member. AfChix Uganda was re-organized in 2009 and is led by Lillian Achom. When Ms. Nodumo Dhlamini came into Uganda in January 2009, she sought out Evelyn and Lillian and they agreed to rejuvenate LinuxChix Uganda under the name AfChix Uganda. Their simple goal is to give back to the community by supporting girls and women to succeed as IT Professional.

Passion for Mentoring Girls
Ms. Nodumo discovered she was passionate about young girls while working at Africa University in Mutare Zimbabwe from 1999 to Dec 2008. She found herself drawn to support girls in the IT Department as well as support girls in her role as part-time Assistant Warden responsible for female hostels.

In Uganda, Ms. Nodumo believes AfChix Uganda has done some good work - visiting schools to talk to girls about careers in Information Communication and Technology (ICT), celebrating girls in ICT days, identified girls to mentor and held their hands, held meetings to strategize in developing proposals for funding and met to draft conference papers for international IT related conferences. As the girls did all this, they had immense fun, became a family and learned from each other.

What kind of AfChixUg do you see in the next 5years?
  • Ms. Nodumo would love to see each Afchix Uganda member picking one girl every year to mentor. Mentorship does not have to be stressful - it can be checking on your mentee regularly, identifying opportunities for that mentee to participate in, giving career advice and supporting them if they are going through a hard time at school, college, work or personal life.
  • She would like to see Afchix Uganda champion the holding of an international conference for women in IT - something like a version of Grace Hoper Conference for Women in IT in Africa.
  • Finally, she would love to see the AfChix Uganda social media platforms growing to e.g. 8,000 Facebook likes and 10,000 Twitter Followers.

Rewarding efforts: Mentorship goes a long way - Nodumo's legacy. 

Here are some testimonies from the girls. 

Lillian Achom: Lillian's interaction with Ms. Nodumo dates back in 2006. In about six months’ time, she will be celebrating ten (10) amazing years of quality friendship with her. Over the past years, she has found Ms. Nodumo to be a dynamic woman who by heart, has a unique insight and tremendous ability to connect with people, inspiring and nurturing them to move in a positive direction; Ms. Nodumo is devoted to taking the time to understand your goals, dreams and aspirations, is dedicated to your success and finding new ways to support you. One of the very important moments in Lillian's  life was her education. She would not have got scholarship to upgrade her studies had it not been for Ms.Nodumo's devotion.