Animated book inspires kids to dream

The animation has seen a sudden interest and enthusiasm for careers education in primary schools. 

SIBO the Engineer, an animated children’s book has become a hit with schoolchildren across the country as it continues to dare them to dream.

Written by Engineer Wadzanai Kimberly Bwanya, Sibo the Engineer explores multiple characters, which are mostly females and ventures into the field of engineering and subtly promotes the girl child’s choices and ambitions which would otherwise be negatively influenced by her environment.

The animation has seen a sudden interest and enthusiasm for careers education in primary schools. 

A recent trip by certain schools to Criterion Water Works  in Bulawayo is one such career-related learning which provides exposure to ideas that pupils might need.

 Learners got first-hand witnessing of how the city water is purified and prepared for consumption by the residents.

“The Bulawayo City Council has been one of our greatest support systems,” Bwanya said.

“They have helped us with human capital at the Criterion  Water Works where the kids got to see and learn.

“They don’t have to necessarily become scientists, but the practicality of the whole thing encourages curiosity and stimulates the mind.

“It is also notable that the council involved pupils from peri-urban schools which makes for inclusivity.”

Bwanya said the target is to get at least 50% girls.

“We do need girls to see the women in engineering like yesterday they saw me, they saw Busi and the Criterion supervisor,” she said.

“The thing is even with the incentives that women are given by STEM they are still reluctant to go for these kind of careers because they have no female role models to show them that it can be done.”

Last year Sibo the Engineer Project won the AlumniTIES grant after Bwanya participated in the AlumniTIES in Cairo. She also featured in Forbes 30 under 30 nominee for technology.

“In response to the theme Women’s Leadership in STEM, we implemented the Sibo the Engineer programme with a women-led team and with the agenda of ‘catching them young to nurture future leaders,” she said.

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