International School of Tanganyika Alumna Miranda Naiman: The Accidental Entrepreneur

A picture of Miranda Naiman

Ms. Miranda Naiman is an IST alumni embodying the vision of our school. She has challenged herself to get the most out of life, she supports others in need and she inspires those around her. 

Ms. Miranda, who is originally from Mbezi Beach, is currently what she calls an “Accidental Entrepreneur” with an academic background in Theatre for Development. She strategically transferred her skill set - attained through both IST and post-secondary - to the private sector when she founded Empower in 2009.

Empower is a Human Capital Consulting Firm which services East Africa and beyond. 

One of my proudest moments was when my firm was engaged to facilitate a strategic retreat for the IST Board – it was an absolute honor,” Ms. Miranda said. “We have been invited back to work with the current Board again this year.”

She is also a member of the Africa List - a community of next-generation CEO’s in Africa’s growth markets and sits on the boards of both READ International and AIESEC Tanzania, and is an active member/leader in the Entrepreneur's Organization.

In addition to her active career, she is also the mother of an 11-year-old son. To say Ms. Miranda leads a busy life would be an understatement. 

Ms. Miranda’s Time at IST Helped her Become the Success She Is Today

Ms. Miranda’s acknowledges that her time at IST was a true privilege. Throughout her time at our school, and as a curious and confident individual, Ms. Miranda didn’t hesitate to get involved. 

“I remember hurriedly choosing my [school] subjects and evolving into an ‘artsy-nerd’ as the years progressed. I’m far from sporty now but one of my highlights was winning the girls high jump competition at Sports Day 1999,” Ms. Miranda said excitedly.

Ms. Miranda participated in many after school and extra-curricular activities. In addition to high jump, she was also part of the High School choir, the swim and volleyball teams, had an active role in International Night performances and volunteered in the community. 

A picture of Miranda and friends at Mount Killimanjaro

“I went to the Mother Teresa Home religiously every Tuesday for four years and built close relationships with the elderly and orphaned children residents in Mburahati.”

Becoming part of the IST alumni community in 2000 was a bitter-sweet moment for Ms. Miranda, though she was excited and ready for the next step, she would truly miss her days at the school. 

“We had a very close-knit grade [so] graduation was bitter-sweet,” Ms. Miranda said. “[It was] a huge relief and accomplishment and yet the end of an era and time to say goodbye to several people.”

But after some hard goodbyes, Ms. Miranda was ready thanks to her time at IST.

Ms. Miranda’s pride is mirrored in the IST alumni association. Want to re-connect with fellow IST alumni? Click here.

“The best part about attending IST was the wealth of knowledge I gained by being in such a culturally diverse environment,” Ms. Miranda said. “The standard of education was incredibly high, which inevitably meant that year one of university was a breeze.”

After graduation, Ms. Miranda took a gap year to work for a UK-based charity called Learning Through Action. Then, she went on to complete a BA (Hons) Drama, Applied Theatre & Education at the Central School of Speech & Drama in London.

During her undergraduate, a professor recognized her exceptional abilities and personally recommended her for a new masters programme at The University of Leeds.

She completed her MA in Theatre & Development Studies directly after her undergraduate all while holding down part-time jobs.

She was also a Committee Member of the United Nations Association and participated in the African-Caribbean Society.

“I made several meaningful connections that I still maintain today.”

For any students looking at Ms. Miranda’s story with awe, she has some words of encouragement.

“My advice would simply be to live authentically, build meaningful connections and always seek to add value wherever you go. “

Click here to discover other stories from IST alumni.