A South-African female engineer has become an inspiration for other women looking to succeed in fields dominated by men, after photos of her constructing an extension to her house went viral on social media.

Last month, South Africa celebrated Women’s Month and a 26-year-old woman from Pietermaritzburg became the unlikely poster girl for this year’s celebration, after photos of her single-handedly working on an extension to her house went viral on Facebook and other social networks. The pics showed the woman preparing the cement, making all the measurements and stacking the building blocks all by herself, which not only won her a lot of praise, but also empowered other women to follow their dreams even if the odds are stacked against them.

South African website Briefly managed to track down the protagonist of the viral photos, who turned out to be a trained civil engineer named Zama Philisiwe Zungu. She inherited the passion for construction from her father, who is also a builder, and made the decision to become an engineer in 2014, enrolling at the Umgungundlovu TVET College in her home city.

Gepostet von Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu am Samstag, 15. August 2020

Zama said that she had never worked in construction before, but that the practical exams she had passed during college gave her the confidence that she could build the extension to her house by herself.

Gepostet von Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu am Samstag, 15. August 2020

“This is what I am good at,” the 26-year-old said. “Renovating my home is very fun and exciting at the same time, practicals are more fun than theory.”

Gepostet von Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu am Samstag, 15. August 2020

Zama Philisiwe Zungu dreams of one day running her own construction company and plans to empower more women in the engineering industry.

Gepostet von Zamanzini Philisiwe Zungu am Samstag, 15. August 2020

“Always put your best in everything that you do, never underestimate the power of pouring your heart in what you do. Always seek to improve and empower yourself,” Zungu advised other women.

 

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