Knowing what you want to achieve in your career and going out to actualise one’s vision can be a daunting task. The risks involved, the dual fears of the unknown and failure often holds people back from pursuing what they envision.
For Likumbi Kapihya, settling for less was never an option. She knew exactly what she wanted to do and whatever it would take, she would do regardless of the risks involved.
In 2016, Likumbi was working in a civil society organisation in Zambia. Having worked closely with donors, she yearned to learn more about how African projects can wean themselves off of donor dependency to ensure their sustainability. This, coupled with the crippling Zambian energy crisis of 2015, spurred her interest in social innovation. Initially, she was looking for an online course to learn more about social innovation and entrepreneurship. While doing her research, she stumbled upon Amani Institute’s website and was sufficiently intrigued, promoting her to look for more information.
While on a flight stopover in Kenya, she paid a visit to Amani’s office and happened to find a class in session. Right there and then, she felt like she found what she needed to realise her dreams.
After going back to Zambia, she applied to join the Social Innovation Management (SIM) course and got accepted. For her to join the SIM Program, she had to take a leap and resign from her position at work,accepting the challenge and putting her successful management career on pause. However, the desire to engage in a line of work that has a social impact but is innovative and sustainable led her to join the SIM program in Nairobi.
She said: “ What makes the SIM program unique is the fact that Amani Institute guides you on a personal journey of self discovery and how that relates to your career path. There are so many online resources on social innovation but none helps you go on the journey of introspection like at Amani.”
After graduating from the SIM program, Likumbi returned home to Lusaka, Zambia looking for places to apply her newfound expertise. She attended three interviews and managed to get job offers in all three cases, with her experience at Amani proving to be the difference maker in the interviews. In December 2017, she began a job at GrowthAfrica, one of Amani Institute’s partner organizations, who were just setting up an accelerator program in Zambia at the time.
After six months of working at GrowthAfrica, she got a call from BongoHive, an innovation and Startup accelerator who offered her the role of leading their Social Enterprise Academy program. To date, Likumbi still works at BongoHive and is enjoying a happy, fulfilling career. Her story is a testament to the power of believing in your vision and having the courage to pursue it.