Joy Wanjiru: Founder Of Organization With Largest Network Of African Women In Europe

Joy Wanjiru Zenz PHOTO/LinkedIn

Joy Wanjiru Zenz is an entrepreneur, author and the founder of Africa Women in Europe, one of the largest African women welfare communities in Europe.

With over 6,000 members, the organization seeks to create an environment where women can network, share information, support, encourage and empower each other.

They have also published two books in celebration of the empowered African women and men living, working or running businesses in Europe.

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Here is Joy’s story as told by WoK.


In an interview with Chams Media, Joy said she was born and raised in Kiambu County.

She attended Kangumbiri Girls’ High School for her secondary school education before proceeding to Technical University of Kenya(TUK).

At the university, she pursued a diploma in institutional management. 

After graduating from the university, she got an opportunity to relocate to Germany for work.

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This came moments after she got married.

“I was thinking of my future and got into an engagement and later marriage after my diploma in Kenya,” she said.

Although she was treated to a culture shock, Joy managed to settle within a short time, and got used to the European country.

“Germany was a big culture shock and I wanted to know what people did. I had big dreams and I did not want to do small jobs

“I had learnt a little bit of the German language at Goethe-Institute but it was not enough. It is difficult to get a job or do anything if you don’t know the language the people there speak,” she said.

In Germany, Joy was was working in Switzerland but living in Germany, while at the same time taking care of his two children.

“I took care of the children as I got to know about the culture and language… I have two lovely boys and immediately after I went back to school,” she added.

She took a diploma course in project management and has been working full-time with a pharmaceutical company in Switzerland.

“Initially it was not easy to get a job because of the language but once you master the language, its the key to everything,” she said.

In 2008, the mother of two and 50 other women joined forces to form an organization for African women in Europe.

They arrive at the same after realizing a trend in death cases amongst African women related to depression.

“People were dying because of depression. The pressure you get from home, the pressure you get in the country and the lack of sun

“It was very sad and we decided that no one should die alone or feel alone because we were all going through the same process,” she explained the inspiration behind the organization.

Over time, their efforts bore fruit and they even opened a savings and credit corporative society dubbed, African Women in Europe Diaspora Sacco.

“After our 10-year anniversary, we decided to invest and because 60 per cent of us are Kenyans, we thought it was best to start investing in Kenya. We wanted to generate wealth for our families,” Joy said.


Africa Women in Europe has published two books in celebration of the empowered African women and men living, working or running businesses in Europe.

The books showcase the immense togetherness and strength that African women in Europe share with women back in Africa.

It covers the exchange of ideas, sharing experiences, and empowering each other.

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