You are currently reading Issue 130: Black History Month, October 2021

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

Connecting women and opportunity

Womanthology is a digital magazine and professional community powered by female energy and ingenuity.

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Working towards sustainability by getting creative with reuse, recycling and energy generation — Mimi Mwasame, Community Liaison Manager at MVV Environment Baldovie

Mimi Mwasame is a community liaison manager at MVV Environment Baldovie, a leading Energy from Waste (EfW) company. Mimi worked for Masai Mara National Reserve, in Kenya, but after witnessing post-election violence first-hand, she changed her career to pursue an international relations path, studying for a master’s degree in Aberdeen. She now works in the energy sector, educating people about waste management, and in particular about the recovery of energy from waste as a last resort to landfilling, and she is planning to pursue a PhD in renewable energy.

Mimi Mwasame
Mimi Mwasame

“Black History Month for me is not subjugated to just a month in a year but every minute of every day. My life is dedicated to celebrating my achievements, my family, and striving to be better than my past self.”

Violence that ignited my passion for peace

My career journey started in the Rift Valley, Kenya, after I graduated from Moi University and started working in the Masai Mara to alleviate human/wildlife conflict.

Masai Mara
Masai Mara

After two years of working in the most coveted national reserve, my kinsmen and I experienced the worst post-election violence brought by election racketeering in Kenyan history. This violence ignited a zeal in me to pursue knowledge that would enable me to have a tête-à-tête with local and political leaders, the common citizens, and NGOs as a peace mediator.

Thence I enrolled and graduated from the University of Aberdeen with a distinction in MSc International Relations and Strategy. I’ve had the pleasure of working in the third sector interface in Aberdeen, in the oil and gas industry, and now as a community liaison manager for MVV Environment Baldovie.

Recovering energy from waste

Mimi Mwasame at work

MVV Environment Baldovie is a subsidiary of MVV Environment UK, which is headquartered in Mannheim, Germany. We are an Energy from Waste facility, utilising residual waste to generate energy in the form of electricity and steam.

My role involves educating all our stakeholders i.e., the community/public, businesses, and schools about waste management and particularly about the recovery of energy from residual waste as a last resort to landfills.

Pre-COVID, my workday was filled with giving in-person talks to community groups and organisations, schools, and businesses as well as planning and carrying out tours of our facility. Once COVID reared its ugly head, as with every other organisation, we evolved to adapt to virtual presentations and curtailed site tours and visitations.

Diversity of thought in the energy and sustainability space

The UK as a developed nation would benefit from learning from other countries that have less disposable income and have adopted to minimising waste through creative reuse and recycling ideologies.

Diversity brings about rich cultural interactions, not just food and music, thus enriching a community, country, and continent as a whole.

A sense of belonging from Black History Month

Mimi Mwasame in KenyaAs a Kenyan, I am privileged to know my history and my ancestral home, which is my rural home. This knowledge gives me a sense of belonging and comfort in knowing who I am and where I am from.

However, I am acutely aware that many Black British people feel lost, estranged, and neglected when a lot has been done to erase the negative effects of slavery and colonialism yet very few initiatives have been implemented to correct this and recognise and celebrate our heroes and heroines. So, it’s important to bring awareness of who we are as a people, where we are from and our heritage not only to our brethren but to all races and nationalities.

Black History Month for me is not subjugated to just a month in a year but every minute of every day. My life is dedicated to celebrating my achievements, my family and friends, and striving to be better than my past self. Everyone who knows me knows about Kenya and would title me an ambassador for Africa.

My role models, starting with my mom

I have so many role models but to curtail a novel from coming to fruition I’d like to talk first about my mom, Dr Agnes Naliaka Mwasame. She was the smartest, kindest, and most generous woman I have ever known, more so now as I look back as an adult into my childhood.

Additionally, I was always enthralled by Mekatilili wa Menza. Mekatilili played a crucial role in inciting resistance against the British in Kenya between 1912-1914. She urged the Giriama not to co-operate with the British attempts to recruit their men into slavery masqueraded as waged labour. She warned the Giriama of the British plot to destroy their culture by imposing their customs and religion by force, dividing people by frightening and bribing them and demanding both hut and personal taxes.

Her efforts were not without consequences as she was imprisoned two different times for almost ten years. However, she rallied the people to protect their land along the Galana River, hence preventing British settlement. She is the modern-day Wonder Woman.

A thrilling future

In the near future, I have booked a tandem skydive; I can’t believe I’ve committed to this in October!

Ultimately, I want to become an expert in this sector thus I am planning to start my PhD in renewable energy to expatiate my knowledge and supplement skills. So happy days!

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