Nzambi Matee

In recent years, Nzambi Matee, the 29-year-old co-founder of Gjenge Makers Limited, has garnered global acclaim for her innovative approach to creating a low-cost building material. 

Her achievement has been highlighted in coverage by Reuters and recognised by the United Nations. 

Matee, an engineer by profession, utilises a unique process of compressing plastic with sand to produce bricks that are not only lightweight but also touted to be stronger than traditional concrete materials. 

"Plastic waste is not just a Kenya problem, but it's a worldwide problem," she revealed her inspiration behind the project.

"Here in Nairobi, we generate about 500 metric tonnes of plastic waste every single day, and only a fraction of that is recycled."

In 2020, she was named a Young Champion of the Earth Africa winner by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Earlier in her career, she started out as an intern at the Ministry of Mining after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physics at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

She would later move to the National Oil Corporation of Kenya where she rose through the ranks to become a data analyst.

In line with her long-life ambitions to become an entrepreneur, she founded Gjenge Enterprises in 2016.