Solutions for African problems will have to come from Africans
Victoria Sogomo has completed her course work and is waiting to graduate in June 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications. Her career aspirations since childhood shifted from veterinary medicine to finance, and hovered around engineering until she finally settled for Telecommunications.
Why did you choose Telecommunications?
I first came to Strathmore to pursue a Diploma in Business Information Technology. I have always been passionate about engineering so when it came to choosing from the degree courses on offer at the Faculty of Information Technology, I picked Telecommunications as it fitted with person that I am.
The telecommunications course is diverse and all-rounded. We learn about different fields – business, networks, and programming. I have enjoyed it. I had some challenges at the beginning but with time I adjusted.
Have you always wanted to do Telecommunications since you were a child?
As a child you get to change your career aspirations; at one time I wanted to be vet, at another an actuary. I even thought of becoming a petroleum engineer. What guided me to Telecommunications was my love for physics which I performed well in while I was in high school. Telecommunications is challenging but I knew if I put in the effort, I would sail through.
Your team was placed third in the 2018 African Grand Challenge (AGC) competition. What was the project about?
I was fortunate to have participated in the AGC 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania where my team and I were representing Strathmore University and Kenya. The challenge was held at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology. I was in my third year at the time, and the youngest in the team.
Our project was “Leveraging IoT and Drone Technologies for Efficient Response to Emergencies and Support for Chronic Patients.” We proposed the use of an integrated system incorporating a distributed drone park, a control platform, and medical practitioners, running on a GPS/GSM-centered Location-Based-Service (LBS), to enable near real-time medical responses to emergency situations like road accidents, snake bites and chronic health conditions.
How did Tungana Tech, a company where you are a co-founder, come about?
The idea to found Tungana tech came from the AGC. We met contestants from seven other African countries. Seeing what their projects were about inspired us to aim higher, and to do more. When the challenge concluded, my team and I saw fit to form Tungana Tech, which leverages our individual skills to provide technology solutions in Kenya. Tungana Tech is data company that provides platforms/solutions in Internet of Things (IoT), Data Analytics and Software Development with a focus on AI and Machine Learning among other services.
You describe yourself as a risk taker. Have you always had this trait?
I became a risk taker when I realised I was missing out on many opportunities to grow as a person, by sticking to my comfort zone. It is necessary to try out different things, make mistakes, and learn from them. Deal with the cards you are handed and make the most out of it. It’s impossible to avoid mistakes because you will make them even as you watch from the sidelines.
Did any incident trigger this?
I lost a close friend in a car accident. The loss prompted a lot of soul searching. I was trying to find God and the meaning of life. What is the point of my life? I had lost a friend, my age mate, a person I thought we would grow up together. I became disoriented. This incident opened me up. I realised I may not have a lot of time to make a difference, or to do something meaningful with my life. I have to be grateful for each day I have to live and appreciate my good health and the support I have from home.
What has been your experience at Strathmore?
I have a passion for tech and its application in the African landscape to change the narrative that has been for so long misunderstood. Strathmore has taught me that with confidence, great communication skills and proficiency in my technical skills the perceived future is possible. This requires commitment, consistency and plenty of research to maintain relevance in this dynamic industry especially with the emerging trends.
What are your future plans?
I believe that the solutions for African problems will have to come from Africans. My dream is to become a policy maker so I can ensure appropriate structures are set up to preserve the technology solutions that the African continent needs.
This article was written by Wambui Gachari.
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