Meet Kenyan Running Largest Organisation of African Women in Europe

  • Like many, Joy Wanjiru Zens, born and raised in Kiambu,  dreamed of a future beyond the Kenyan borders.

    She attended Kangumbiri girls high school before joining the Technical University of Kenya(TUK) for a diploma in institutional management. 

    In an interview on Chams Media’s Daring Abroad on Saturday, March 18 , Joy stated that after her diploma, she found an opportunity to travel to Germany but the culture shock when she settled was overwhelming.

    African Women in Europe members at a past event.

    African Women in Europe members at a past event.

    African Women in Europe

    “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.

    “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,” Joy stated. 

    Shortly after however, she got married to a German man and had two kids, who she decided to focus on raising before furthering her studies. 

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

    “At the time I was working in Switzerland but living in Germany. It took some time to get to know the culture and language,” Joy narrated. 

    After raising her children, she went back to school and attained a diploma in project management and has been working full-time with a pharmaceutical company in Germany for 5 years.

    Moreover, in 2008, Joy stated that she realised that many Africans abroad suffered and died alone because of the pressure back at home and in foreign countries. 

    “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,” added Joy. 

    Together with 50 others, Joy started the African Women in Europe organisation where they would write books telling stories of their experiences abroad which later turned into a business. 

    Her organisation, African Women in Europe (AWE) champions for African Women’s entrepreneurial rights with over 6,000 members across Europe. 

    The organisation started a Sacco which they use to save and as a medium for investing back in Kenya.

    “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,” Stated the AWE founder. 

    African Women in Europe members at a past event.

    African Women in Europe members at a past event.

    African Women in Europe


Beryl Onyango

Beryl Onyango is a CPA and economics degree holder who has dedicated her career to helping others navigate the complex world of finance. Beryl has spent the past 3 years working as a finance specialist in a fintech company and has 6 years of experience in finance, working with a diverse range of clients and industries. Beryl's expertise lies in budgeting, saving, investing, and retirement planning, but she also has a deep understanding of various other areas of finance. She is interested in financial technology and how it changes how we manage our finances. As a finance writer, Beryl has been sharing her insights and knowledge through her writing, covering various finance and personal finance topics. Her goal is to educate and empower individuals to take control of their finances and achieve their financial goals. In addition to her professional experience, Beryl is a lifelong learner, always seeking to expand her knowledge and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in finance. She is also a strong communicator, able to explain complex financial concepts in a clear and easy-to-understand manner. Beryl believes that financial literacy is the key to achieving financial success, and she is dedicated to helping others achieve their financial goals.

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