By Prudence Minayo
Lilian Siyantei best exemplifies the benefits of providing education to a Maasai girl. Despite facing numerous challenges in her early school life, she beat the odds to become a mechatronics engineer, which means that she combines mechanical, electrical, computer and software skills.
Here is her inspiring story as told by WoK.
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Education and challenges
A member of the Maasai community, the 28-year-old grew up in Laikipia County, Rumuriti area. She attended Familia Takatifu Primary School which was located one hour away from her home.
Since the area was a hotbed for cattle rustling, school was limited or at times they had to close early. This was because the insecurity shrouding the area could not allow students to stay past a specific time. They would often be sent home at 2pm.
Despite the challenges, she had supportive parents who always encouraged her to press on. Upon sitting for her final examination, she scored 400 marks and joined Mary Hill High School.
Her excellence and determination saw her through high school and she went on to attain a plain A in the national examinations.
Ms. Siyantei joined Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology where she pursued mechatronics engineering. Her father encouraged her to take the course as he worked in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics field.
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One of the things Lilian Siyantei deals with is security used to monitor homes through sensors using a smart phone.
This is called the internet of things, a collective network of connected devices and the technology that facilitates communication between devices and the cloud, and also between devices and themselves.
It also includes smart Agriculture which enables farmers to irrigate their farms using sensors.
A quality inspector of the Kenya Bureau of Standards, the mechatronics engineer ensures the products in circulations comply to the set regulations and develops standards related to mechatronics equipment. This includes sensors and energy meters.
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