For many of us who grew up in the country-side especially around western Kenya, can recall that old man and many a times thin, who would be ritually present at every market day or sometimes do regular trips around the village. It wasn’t however, his presence on every market day or his regular ceremonial trips around the village that made him stand-out, rather his unique tools of trade.
Like most old-men had bicycles (a preferred means of transport then, doubling up as a measure of social-status or wealth), this old man was no exception. Though his is bicycle was different, as it was both a tool of trade and a means of transport. Like sinners and tax-collectors around Jesus, women would occasionally throng around this old man armed with blunt pangas, knifes or any item that had a cutting edge/blade.
As a kid, this man really fascinated me. I secretly wished to be like him if not be him someday; though not to have women crowd around me but rather possess that unique bicycle and make trips around the village showing it off to my friends.
At times my mother would complain about a blunt knife then spot her among the old -man’s crowd and soon enough my sister would be rushing from the kitchen, blood oozing from her index fingure. This would happen on and on until my little sister grew old or immune to oozing blood (so i thought). At times I thought this old-man a bad omen and even planted an ambush on, in case he came to the village again, lucky old-man never came back, for reasons I have never known.
Just like Jesus, the old-man vanished just as mysteriously as he had came to the village. To my surprise almost every panga in the village grew blunt. Women would then crowd around large rocks armed with pangas, knifes and anything that had blades. This would go on, until our neighbor Oloo acquired a bicycle like the old-man’s. He however lacked the pomp the old-man had or that I at least thought he had.
Surely, when I was child I thought and acted like a child and now that I am man I try to think like a man. I am however tempted to bet that childhood dreams die hard, for mine die seldom.
I somehow found my-self in a classroom that I somehow alludes the village. I grew up in. However, unlike my childhood old-man, I wasn’t surrounded by women yielding pangas and knives.
Around me was an array students, eager to dive into this new found world of computing. students yielding technologically blunt minds to be sharpened.
With me I had a laptop, like the old-man’s bicycle (that was unique), my laptop was also unique i.e. was running the latest version of Ubuntu (15.**) and installed in it was the python interpreter, Code-blocks IDE and sublime text editor.
Its then that it hit me, I was slowly turning into that old-man. A quick check of my hair was inevitable to ascertain I hadn’t grown bald too.
The market was equator boys High School. We at SiliconBlaze were having our first session of Computer Science for High School;
an initiative of JKUAT students, with an interest in Computer programming, aimed at teaching high school kids how to write, read and implement code. Like iron sharpens iron, we undertook to sharpen this bright, young but unexposed minds, maybe we may horn a Bill Gates in them or better still inspire a problem solver.
Our mission was to sharpen their minds, unclog their thought processes and challenge the limitations to their imaginations. Call us overambitious, un-realistic, over optimistic or over confident, because that is what we are. That’s our mantra and karma. We create and nature problem solvers through charity.
Join us and let’s not only be solution providers but also solution creators.
Published by Pius Dan