Women Breaking Ceilings: Meet Nkwenti Pekwang

Highlighting Nkwenti Pekwang, a 1 million Women in STEM Recipient and an Instructor in the Department of Agriculture, IFAMTECH, Cameroon. Nkwenti is a Project Kuongoza Mentor and the Vice Country Curator of STEMi Makers Africa, Cameroon.

Meet Nkwenti Pekwang

Claudette is an Agricultural technician specializing in Crop Production and a technical teacher in the domain of Home economics. She is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. She is an advocate of the prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases. Presently a Home Economics teacher at Nkwen Bamenda and an Instructor in the department of Agriculture at Institute of Agricultural Chain and Management Technology (IFAMTECH). She is Passionate about STEM education and currently serves as the Vice country curator for STEMi Makers Africa, Cameroon. She developed the passion for healthy dieting and improvement in the livelihood in her community through the use of practical skills to investigate and develop broad understanding of scientific concepts. She loves teaching, gardening, cooking and reading journals.

Why did you get into the field of STEM? 

I got into the filed of STEM to have a clear understanding of certain principles of life. 

Outside of work, what can we see Claudette doing? (Do you have any activities, hobbies or cause you are passionate about outside work?)

You can find her reading a scientific journal, gardening, cooking and giving dietary advice to young women.

What is the one thing you would like to change or address in STEM for young women girls in Africa?

I will like to change the mentality that STEM is a difficult field and are meant for the male gender and the idea the their propose of life is procreation and not creativity or innovation.

Do you have role-models? If you do, can you tell us who and why you chose them?

My role model is Mrs Nkoukem Rose. She is the architect behind my first scientific research which was on how to effectively us some in vitro conservation methods to conserve of some indigenous food crops( landraces) which were getting extinct so they can be use for other hybridization purposes

Please tell us about the challenges you have faced as a woman in STEM and how did you overcome them? What principles and work can young women put in place to excel in STEM despite the existing cultural stereotypes?

The challenge of many not believing I could get a successful career in STEM but I was able to overcome because I saw myself creating my own agricultural establishment and being able to train youths passionate about agriculture. Every young woman in STEM need to bear in mind that she is the solution to the developmental challenges in her community.

What is your advice to young girls or budding women in STEM? And can you share practical advice/steps and tips that young women and girls can use as they accelerate in their career or academics?

Try to have a scientific explanation if the things you do daily and you’ll understand that there is still a lot to be done and with one step at a time with the knowledge you have and are gaining start creating an impact.

What comes to your mind when you hear “Women Breaking Ceilings”?

I immediately think of great women doing extraordinary things like women making new scientific discoveries and challenging to world. 

Please share your social media handles you’d like people to reach you on.

 Facebook @ Nkwenti Pekwang 

Twitter @ Nwenti Pekwang 

Instagram @ Claudy Pekwang

LinkedIn @ Nkwenti Clauette

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