About Lydia Mangeni Stewart

Lydia’s Biography

 

Thank you for reading my story and visiting my page.

 

Lydia’s story is one of Pain, Perseverance, Purpose & Progress and it is captured in what she calls the Power of P(erspective), which has allowed Lydia to understand her Why, How and What. A woman of integrity, humanity and ambition, Lydia aims to use her skills in technology and engineering to enable and empower through developing robust solutions that add value to the African economy as her journey to tech has been initiated by her desire to reconnect and reshape what it means to be an African from the diaspora.

Leaving Kenya at the tender age of 8, landing in Brixton in 1995, most of Lydia’s important life decisions had been made for her through circumstances that were out of her control, from the country that Lydia ended up living in, how she spent the bulk of her twenties, to what type of career Lydia connected with. Having had such a difficult early start to life, Lydia’s natural inclination was towards the social care sector whereby Lydia was encouraged to become a Social Worker by virtue of her experiences, subsequently, graduating from university in 2013 with a 2:1 combined honours in Criminology with Sociology. However, Lydia has always been a problem solver and has a very inquisitive mind, sparking her interest in technology, specifically, becoming a Software Engineer.

Lydia is a natural communicator, who enjoys innovating, contributing and learning. She has had experience providing exceptional service to diverse individuals; from senior stakeholders to young people. A career changer, who has worked on large scale change programs in the not-for-profit sector, delivering on complex customer accounts such as The National Lottery Fund, as a Partnerships Lead. Thus, Lydia is familiar with developing projects and programs that build the capacity of both the individual and organisation/s; utilising her relationship management skills, knowledge and experience to understand where gaps are and what resources are needed.

With a growth mindset, being proactive and utilising resources available to her effectively, this has been a big part of Lydia’s successful transition to technology. Scalability through application of software principles, solutions, driven by people and data, and systems reliability, derived from effective DevOps approaches, are some of the key things Lydia wants to achieve by applying technological concepts to contribute to the development of places, people and products.

A self-starter, with exceptional interpersonal skills and an avid interest in leveraging technology to develop solutions that empower marginalised individuals. This has culminated in the creation of an online marketplace that aims to support the creative economy in Africa and connect local artisans to the global market; with the first MVP being an eCommerce and Content platform called AFRIAccess; which supports young African artists/artisans and women living in Africa, who are designers and makers through the production of art; accessories and lifestyle products to the global market. Enabling economic empowerment; changing narratives through conscious content creation. This initiative began in 2020 and Lydia has been building it slowly.

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