My reason for joining toastmasters was to speak like Obama, really. And of course increase my prospects in life.

I’m currently working on short assignment as a Google Policy Fellow researching on cyber laws in Kenya.

I’m a pure African. This reality was more apparent when elderly men poured libation invoking the living dead to appease them during my traditional marriage ceremony.

In my career, I’ve worn many hats both tech and policy related. I’m a techie to the bone, a networking expert, computer engineer, system administrator, and a programmer. I’m also an entrepreneur not finical about business but doing everything from roads construction to farming. Anything legal and ethical that would place food on the table.

I came into the computing field by accident. At the turn of the century after finishing high school, I wanted to be a psychiatrist, but my parents, would not have anything to do with it. They instead opted me in a computer college at the Egerton University. Computing was the in thing then. I’ve never looked back since. And I enjoy the profession immensely.

I’m recognized as a change agent within my society because of the zeal and passion shown while advocating for issues of social justice and inclusiveness. I’ve had leadership positions in several Internet related organisations both in Kenya and regionally. I’m currently the East African representative for Africa Civil Society on Information Society.

My Philosophy is always to be over optimistic in life. While partying in one of the beach hotels in Durban along the Indian Ocean, one Venezuelan shared a story on how life was always serving him lemons, and how poor his background was. To console him and give him hope, I told him of a story of a black boy born in a society that despised black people, brought up by a single parent having been fathered by a foreigner. Despite having been brought up in a Muslim background and having his middle name as Hussein, the boy went forth to get the best education, joined civil activism and politics, and after many failures and dusting himself up, he became the first black man elected as president of the United States and arguably the most powerful man. Everybody has a chance in life, as Lupita would phrase it, “no matter where you come from, your dreams are valid”. My Venezuelan friend’s eyes welled with tears from the illustration as he exclaimed “I will also work hard and be successful ”

I have always wanted to write a book, before thirty, like Adichie, Binyavanga, or Chenua. A feat I will never achieve since I’m thirty no more.

I’ve been to all continents of the world outside the Arctics, but never got a chance to sire little Obamas there.

When addressing a crowd, even if it’s a small crowd around a table, my thought pattern would disintegrate from the deep stare of the audience. I would be drawn into a momentary state of inertia, and I hope that will change from observing fellow toastmasters who have mastered the art of public speaking.

My reason for joining toastmasters was to speak like Obama, really. And of course increase my prospects in life.

Mr/ Madam Toastmaster