Full name: Jodie Wu
Also lived in: USA, Tanzania and Kenya, I currently live in Nairobi but I’m mainly working in Tanzania.
Studied: Mechanical Engineering at MIT
Job: A consultant for the business model aspects of the OffGridBox programme in Tanzania.
Tell me more about your job
I do a few things, I’m currently working as a freelance consultant for OffGridBox, where I am coordinating all aspects of the installation of OffGridBoxes in different locations in Tanzania. I am also a freelance Project Manager and Consultant on technical projects – I like to be at the intersection of engineering and business. I’m also a New Products Consultant for Greenlight Planet.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember wanting to be a writer and being told by my mom that it’s not a great career.
What is your favourite colour?
Yellow – sun king yellow
What is your favourite animal?
I’m torn between Giraffe and elephant but I think I love elephants more.
What is your favourite food?
Chinese dumplings that we call potstickers – pork and cabbage filling. It’s an Asian tradition.
Where is your favourite place?
A place called Ol Doinyo Lengai, “Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. It’s an active volcano near Lake Natron right on the rift valley and it’s really beautiful especially if you don’t have cloud cover. When I climbed the mountain I was overcome. It was the most difficult hike I know. It can be scary on top of the crater especially if there’s a breeze.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Math without a doubt.
“I founded a company 10 years ago and sold it 2 years ago to Greenlight Planet. Global Cycle Solutions (GCS) and now GCS is developing agricultural bolt-ons to turn bikes into agricultural machines.”
What languages do you speak?
Swahili and English. I was trying to teach myself mandarin. I did take two years of Spanish but I wouldn’t say I speak any of that so let’s just stick with English and Swahili.
What alternative career might you have followed?
Architect. I love a channel called Home and Garden TV and I love watching people renovating their homes.
What hobbies do you have?
Playing musical instruments. I love going on hikes and long runs. Soccer, I play when I’m in Nairobi.
Who has been inspirational in your life?
I’m cliché, my dad. To me, he knows everything. He did all the home remodelling, anything that breaks he fixes. I have a lot of respect that he has always taken care of his family. He does not ever let money drive him.
What is an interesting fact about yourself?
I’ve been writing my future biography and it’s currently over 200 pages. It covers a 10 period of the pivotal moments in my life. Basically I read someone’s autobiography and I loved how it was written, and I wanted to be a writer remember!
Both my sister and I can make our minds go blank using meditation and just fall really deeply asleep.
I’ve never shaved my legs! (Just to clarify, that doesn’t mean I have hairy legs, it just means I don’t need to shave)!
I grew up with my family owning a Chinese restaurant and I started working as a cashier when I was really young so I now count money so fast it surprises people.
What is your coolest achievement?
To be honest this project is pretty cool. Connecting a village to water is just amazing.