Nzambi Matee

Founder, Gjenge

Panel | Session

The Doers and Dreamers


Nzambi Matee, a trained engineer and schooled in biochemistry, founded the new ways of converting waste into sustainable materials. 

With her initiative, Matee has recently been named a Young Champion of the Earth 2020 Africa winner at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The award “provides seed funding and mentorship to promising environmentalists as they tackle the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Her company Gjenge Makers’ project has started to use the product with paving stones applied in houses, schools or streets, the product is highly durable and diminishes its maintaining cost. Her startup company produces about 500-1000 bricks per day, “recycling close to 500 kilograms of plastic waste a day.”

“Plastic waste is not just a Kenya problem, but it’s a worldwide problem,” said Nzambi Matee. 

“Here Nairobi we generate about 500 metric tones of plastic waste every single day and only a fraction of that is recycled.” 

“We decided what more can we do instead of just sitting in the sidelines and complaining. Essentially, companies have to pay to dispose the waste, so we solved their problem.”

“That waste essentially comes for free.”