Nzambi Matee, a determined Kenyan engineer, is at the forefront of a revolution in sustainable development. Her company, Gjenge Makers, transforms plastic waste into strong and affordable construction bricks, offering an innovative solution to both plastic pollution and the affordable housing challenge in Africa.

A Passion for Sustainability

Born in 1992, Nzambi has always been passionate about science and technology. With a degree in mechanical engineering, she initially worked in the Kenyan oil industry. However, her entrepreneurial spirit and desire to contribute to a more sustainable future led her to change course.

In 2017, Nzambi quit her stable job to dedicate herself to fighting plastic pollution and promoting sustainable construction solutions. She set up a small lab in her mother’s backyard and began experimenting with different plastic recycling methods.

A Revolutionary Invention

After months of research and development, Nzambi developed an innovative process to transform plastic waste into construction bricks. Her invention uses a mixture of shredded plastic and sand, heated to high temperatures to create a strong and malleable material. The bricks produced are not only two to seven times stronger than traditional cement bricks, but also twice as light and around 15% cheaper.

Gjenge Makers: A Company That Makes a Difference

In 2018, Nzambi founded Gjenge Makers, a company dedicated to producing and selling its eco-friendly plastic bricks. The company designs and manufactures its own machines, which allows it to control the entire production process and guarantee the quality of its products.

Gjenge Makers has been remarkably successful since its inception. In 2021, the company recycled approximately 20 tons of plastic waste and produced bricks for the construction of houses, schools and other structures throughout Kenya. In addition, it employs workers from disadvantaged backgrounds in Kenya, which places it at the forefront of high-impact social and job-creating projects in society.

International Recognition

Nzambi Matee’s pioneering work has not gone unnoticed. In 2020, she was named a Young Champion of the Earth by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a prestigious recognition of her commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development.

An Inspiring Role Model

Nzambi Matee is an inspiration to entrepreneurs and environmentalists around the world. Her story shows that one person can make a significant difference in the fight against environmental and social challenges. Her ingenuity, determination and entrepreneurial spirit have allowed her to transform a problem into a sustainable solution, offering a brighter future for communities in Kenya, Africa and beyond.

Nzambi Matee is a remarkable example of what innovation and entrepreneurship can bring to the fight against environmental problems. Her story encourages us to rethink our relationship with waste and explore new solutions for a more sustainable future.
No job is made for a particular gender, she teaches us through her choice of career. A woman who transforms and makes bricks, it is possible for anyone who chooses with willpower. 
Nzambi’s journey is a booster for all African girls who still doubt whether to venture into technical and scientific fields. Dear African girls and women, these African leaders through their actions simply prove one thing to us: EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE WILL!

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