At the age of 29, Fadji Zaouna Maïna, a citizen of Niger republic has been hired by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) in the United States.
Maïna is so happy about her new role and about the fact that it helps to fulfill her childhood dream of one day becoming a national symbol.
Since joining the space agency on the 27th of August this year, the messages of felicitations, especially from her home country of Niger, have been unrelenting. Even the country’s president, Mahamadou Issoufou called her on the 2nd of September to give her a personal congratulatory message.
Maïna is fully aware of what this achievement of hers represents, “I pushed the boundaries, I made it possible and I made a whole country proud,” she said. “The chances for a girl like me, born and raised in Zinder (Niger), to become a scientist at a well-known institution like NASA are almost zero.”
“Since I was a child, I always wanted to work at NASA. But when you are born in Zinder, you don’t necessarily have access to information, as is the case in Niamey. So I had this dream, but I didn’t know where to start, or what path to take to make it come true,” Fadji Zaouna Maïna said.
She however believes that she should not be considered a symbol, but simply more of a pioneer. “I want more and more women of Niger to work in the field of science, to follow the same path as me and to quickly join me at NASA.”
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