Student pursues leadership dream
By Simon Libafu
He dropped out of a top school in Form Three to join a world-class institution in South Africa.
For Brian Gitogo Macharia, a former student at Starehe Boys Centre, the move was a fresh start to achieve his dream — to become a leader in his field.
Last September, Gitogo was among 14 students who beat 44 Kenyans shortlisted for admission to the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In an earlier interview, the school’s local representative Ms Ivy Mwai told The Standard that the Pan-African school aims to nurture continent’s future leaders. "Development and growth in Africa will happen through Africans. So the best way to do it is through training of future leaders to develop the continent, their countries and communities," she said.
Having secured a place in the school by beating 1,700 applicants from the continent, Gitogo has his eyes set on becoming a top businessman. "After joining the school I started Ybster.net, an online company dealing in website and graphic design," he says.
Gitogo’s dalliance with technology started while he was in primary school after a teacher introduced him to computer programming. By the time he joined secondary school, he could design websites. He was a prefect while at Starehe and was actively involved in co-curricula activities as the president of Griffin Inc, a student run company under the Junior Achievement club. He was also the chief editor of the club’s magazine, The Achiever.
Gitogo enjoys learning at the academy, which is based on the Cambridge A level system integrated with the school’s own curricula that include entrepreneurship, leadership and African Studies. "You get to focus on what you are talented in and the curriculum is diverse," he says. Gitogo says the school also offers community service opportunities and through internship in which students are mentored in their areas of interest. Since last year, he has been an intern in various companies including Goshoppy.co.za and Equity Bank.
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