Kenyan Diaspora & Africa’s first woman space engineer to drop out of school

Fiona Jepleting
Aerospace engineering student Fiona Jepleting, who was the first African woman to attain first class honours in the field . Photo/COURTESY

A Kenyan, who was the first African woman to attain first class honours in aerospace engineering, may drop out of her masters programme over school fees.

Fiona Jepleting’s father said the Nandi government, which sponsored her studies at University of Hertfordshire, accumulated Sh2 million in fee arrears.

“We received an email from the university in UK asking us to pay the fees before July 17 or else Fiona will not be enrolled for the next semester,” Mark Sang told the Star on phone on Friday.

Saying the government has not responded to his letters on the issue, Sang appealed for help from well-wishers.

Jepleting, whose next semester begins in September, said she is looking forward forward to being part of a team making safer and more efficient aircraft.

She is the first and only Kenyan student enrolled in the course, which is being pursued by less than 10 Africans.

“For my Masters degree I want to specialise in the structural and design parts of the engineering. That entails the whole process from design to the making of the aircraft, stress analysis and aircraft performance,” she said.

Jepleting, who is from Kapsabet, was featured by international media after obtaining her outstanding results on June 6.

“I was expecting a first class pass; news of an outstanding first class was the best ever,” she said.

Writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o congratulated Jepleting for the “rare distinction”, terming her an inspiration to Kenyan women and youth.

“For Kenya and Africa to lead the world in inventions and industry, we have to have more Jepletings,” he said.


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