Vicky Ngari-Wilson is a former beauty queen Miss Kenya and Miss East Africa UK. Today she is a tech entrepreneur and uses her influence as an international ambassador to support women empowerment and youth social entrepreneurship.
“I am an African Woman, born and raised in Kenya who moved over here at the age of nine with my mother. My career in fashion began as a stylist. Craving to blend my roots with the western way of presentation, I started volunteering at style shows, including pageants. Creativity was an outlet to express myself, my thoughts and style – it is a simple way of saying complicated things.
Then God said: ‘Nope, you are going to enter a pageant, win it and be thrown into political and business platforms.’
After I won the pageant, I became a single mother. I tried to get work but my CV was pretty unique and as a creative, as someone with dyslexia, it was hard to articulate what my abilities were:
If only I could show them what I can do, what I have done. When they ask for someone who can handle budgets – I think to myself, if only I could show them how I have made £10 stretch over a week.
When they asked for negotiation, diplomacy skills – if only I could show them how I convinced the creditors to clear my entire bill or figure out repayments.
When they asked for resilience – if only I could show them how I function on two to three hours sleep because of balancing small projects to earn money, keeping a clean house, working out, turning up at the school meetings and somehow attending events.
Strategy? I wish they could see the games I created so my daughter thinks she is playing but is actually learning about emotional intelligence.
Those are the real skills needed in the real world. If they could see me, me; a young black single mother in survival mode, I would blow any of those positions out of the window.
I wanted to focus on giving young people the skills they need to help solve social and environmental issues through entrepreneurship training. So, I launched Good Ambition, which is a corporate training service
From here, SkilledIt has been created. SkilledIt is a digital app that helps users skill themselves using their own environments and frame themselves as professionals. So, when employers are having trouble communicating with the younger generation (who will be speaking in emojis), or people with learning disabilities, or people who haven’t come from privilege – they are able to see real life demonstrations. It is a re-invention of the CV model that tackles multiple issues in education and employment.
I translated my story into technology. While looking at myself, I created a mirror that helps others see themselves and their environment differently. A mirror where no one has to see whether you are black or not, whether you are a woman or not.”
The Black Women Talk Tech was the first of its kind, hosted by Cocktails & Conversation and supported by PixelPin at TechHub London. Other speakers included Urenna Okonkwo, who is the founder of Cashmere, a social savings platform that helps millennials save towards and buy luxury fashion; Marcia Brock who is the first Black woman in the UK to gain the Certified Wireless Network Administrator qualification, and cancer survivor; Selina Charmaine Dyer, Founder of Charma Communication who spoke about launching her company while on JSA.