In Summary
  • The sessions were conducted in the computer lab.
  • One day, the MIT instructors popped into the computer lab and started issuing out handouts for the program.
  • Since Gideon was always in the computer lab like, he was mistaken to be among the selected students for the program and given a hand-out.
  • He was in Form Two.
  • Do you have feedback on this story? E-mail: [email protected]

Gideon Kitili, 26, is the third born in a family of six children. He grew up in Kitui South and attended Makolongo Primary School.

Despite the harsh climatic conditions that left many grappling with poverty, Gideon’s parents created a comfortable home for him and his siblings.

They also placed great emphasis on education. A dismal academic performance was simply unacceptable.

Gideon passed his KCPE exams and was admitted at Alliance Boys High School. His first few weeks in school were quite a roller-coaster.

On one hand he was excited by the new environment having lived in Kitui all his life; on the other hand, he was intimidated by his mates in the school.

Some of the children were from wealthy families.

In comparison, he felt of a lower social class. For the first time, he became aware of the many childhood indulgences he had missed out on simply because his parents could not afford them.

BRILLIANCE NOT A REDEMPTION

“Although the school system tried to standardise us, some of these differences could not be obscured. The price tags on our personal effects shopping demarcated the social classes. Being brilliant in class was no redemption either. My classmates were rich and smart. It was tough. Some good came out of that experience though. I purposed to excel at school in the hope that I would end up wealthy like them.”

Once he overcame that temporary phase of inferiority complex, Gideon thrived in the new environment. In Form One; he developed an interest in Information Technology courtesy of his Computer Studies class.

He would spend all his breaks in the computer lab.

HAD NEVER TOUCHED A COMPUTER

“I had never touched a computer before joining High School. I only saw them in banking halls whenever I accompanied my father to the bank. The first time I sat in front of a computer during my computer studies class, I stared into the blank screen and it was like looking at destiny. That very moment, I knew that my future was in computers.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ran a program at Alliance High School equipped 40 selected Form Three students, with skills in industrial scale programming, information technology concepts and basic entrepreneurship.

The sessions were conducted in the computer lab. One day, the MIT instructors popped into the computer lab and started issuing out handouts for the program.

Since Gideon was always in the computer lab like, he was mistaken to be among the selected students for the program and given a hand-out. He was in Form Two.

COMPUTER GEEK IS BORN

Fortunately, the older students did not rat him out. Endless hours of hanging out in the lab had seen Gideon strike friendships with most of the older computer students.

He got trained along with them. With time, Gideon became an accomplished computer geek. By form three, he was helping out form fours with their computer projects for KCSE exams.

After high school, Gideon was admitted at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering as per his course selection.

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