“My name is Chide Ameji, I am 22 years old, I am currently a mechanical engineering student of The Federal University of Technology Akure. I am still very new to the product design career path but yet I am nothing but grateful for it. I have always had a thing for tech but never did I consider it to be a career path, not until my elder brother who is a successful brand designer, made me realise that as important as education may be, it just isn’t enough to survive in Africa. Not to mention the situation in my country of residence, where even academics advise us to find other alternatives to our degree.
The turning point for me was when a professor in my department retired and on Facebook, he wrote about how the educational system had failed him, stated that at age 70, he couldn’t boast of 250,000 naira. I became really sure that I didn’t want the same for myself.
I started trying to break into UI/UX design on my own but considering I had no idea what I was really supposed to be doing, I kept wasting time and energy on different kinds of materials and resources without direction. This made my progress slow and almost fruitless.
My brother then introduced me to some friends to help facilitate my learning and transition journey, and then I met Ife who told me about the Ingressive for Good 1000 Women in Design Scholarship program. I applied and got the scholarship and then in less than 4 months I was done with the program and could proudly call myself a designer. Designing gave me a purpose, an insurance on my future.
A lot has changed for me and in such little time. From having lost hope to getting a new and more focused purpose. I started looking for job opportunities, I showed my work to senior designers and I eventually got an offer for a job. I am now very empowered to advocate for myself and I want to say a very big thank you to I4G for this opportunity, it was a great gift”.