Owen, a fourth-grade student at Techlit Africa, an organization dedicated to imparting digital skills to children in rural primary schools, is making waves in the tech world. The organization, led by Nelly Cheboi, a celebrated techpreneur named CNN’s Hero of the Year in 2022, has gained recognition for its impactful initiatives.
Owen’s unique journey is marked by his dedication to teaching and demystifying coding in the Swahili language on TikTok, earning him accolades and views ranging from 100,000 to 500,000. However, his experience with the Inkscape vector editor reflects the common challenges encountered when acquiring new skills.
Encountering difficulties with shape tools and coloring techniques, Owen openly expressed his frustration, uttering a simple “Mi sielewi” (I really don’t understand). In the midst of his struggles, a success story unfolded among his peers, with Irene, another student in the class, becoming a source of inspiration.
Irene’s adept use of the Inkscape vector editor garnered attention, as her artistic creations became a talking point among students who had seen her work on TechLit’s Facebook page. Buoyed by newfound fame, Irene’s success motivated Owen to overcome his challenges. Determined to see his photo featured in a similar spotlight, he sought guidance from Irene and dedicated time to mastering the intricacies of the Inkscape vector editor.
With Irene’s patient assistance, Owen successfully navigated the editor, creating various shapes adorned with vibrant colors. His sense of accomplishment was evident as he exclaimed, “Take a picture of me! I want also to be in the phone.”
Owen’s journey not only underscores the challenges of learning new skills but also highlights the transformative power of perseverance and seeking guidance from peers. In an era where technology plays a crucial role in education, stories like Owen’s and Irene’s serve as a testament to the potential for growth and success that arises from facing and conquering challenges in the realm of digital skills.
Beyond the realm of tech, Owen’s sharp mind has also earned him a place among the top 100 Kenyans in 2023, alongside prominent figures such as Azimio leaders Raila Odinga, Babu Owino, CS of sports Ababu Namwamba, marathon winner Eliud Kipchoge, and others.
Report by JESSE ABISHECK