Strathmore’s Gabriel Dinda and Dr. Bright Gameli named in the Top 40 Under 40 Men 2021
If something is not bound by love and the desire to serve people, then Gabriel will not take it up. All he does, he says, has to live up to those two values.
“I desire that whatever I do, may it respond to love and service: the love for God and the love for man.”
In 2014, when Gabriel was an economics and finance student at Kenyatta University, he and a group of colleagues saw a need to have a platform dedicated to growing writers and to encourage young people to pen their stories. That was the beginnings of the Writers Guild Kenya.
“Since then, we have trained writers, encouraged those who never thought they could write to write and collaborated with different partners to grow a vibrant community. Our membership now stands at 3,093 across the country. We have trained and encouraged 102 first-time authors who are now published. Many of our members now run blogs and generally there is a new meaning and appreciation of our stories through the pen. We are happy that we were right to start this journey and to put in all the efforts over the years.”
Earlier this year, the guild opened a bookshop in Nairobi – the All-African Bookshop – fashioned as a platform to help writers tell the African story. From an ambitious university dream, the Writers Guild Kenya today is worth an estimated Sh10 million with six employees.
“But largely, the Writers Guild has not been built by me, so to say. It has been built by these many writers with a true desire to grow a home for writers.”
Gabriel has authored two books and co-authored one. He also has two manuscripts awaiting publication. He is currently a lecturer at Strathmore University, teaching ethics and philosophy. That is quite diverse from what he studied as an undergraduate.
“I studied economics and finance and also did a bit of CPA, but I think with time, and with a lot of prayers, I realised that that was not my route.”
A father of one, Gabriel is fast learning the ropes of parenthood. For leisure, he goes for walks, cycles or sometimes takes hikes. An avid reader, there is always a book Gabriel is writing. In between, he watches global news and documentaries.
This article was written by Elvis Ondieki and was first published in the Business Daily here.
Dr. Bright Gameli
Will you hack my phone? I ask.
Dr. Bright Gameli Mawudor is a cybersecurity tsar, with a PhD (which he got at 28) in IT Convergence and Application Engineering with a concentration in Information Security from Pukyong National University, South Korea.
Have things turned out as expected at his age? “Unexpectedly. For instance, I founded Africahackon nine years ago, the first-ever hands-on cyber security conference in East Africa that aims to bring awareness with live demonstrations of how hacking happens, which has since grown into a juggernaut, and it’s amazing to see children doing cybersecurity.”
“I don’t worry about things I have no control over.”
Does he ever question himself? “Absolutely. I feel like I can do a lot more. But then again, I am swamped. How can I give back to the community on cybersecurity and data analytics?”
He treats cybersecurity the way you treat your favourite sweater: He leaves it on without thinking about it. He credits his mentors: his dad, Tyrus Kamau (Cellulant), Diana Mulili, and Kris Senanu, who hails from his hometown of Ghana.
Being a perfectionist, he struggles with detachment. He is learning delegation, learning to trust other people, which is not bizarre for a man who defines success as achieving goals written down through careful planning. “Success never ends, you can always enhance it.”
Does working in cybersecurity make him overly cautious? “I am chilled but I am cautious on what I click on, and what people send to me.”
He speaks in philosophical zest: “Cybersecurity and people are alike: both are dynamic and both know there is never 100 percent security, there is always a vulnerability to systems, to people.” “People think cybersecurity is all about hacking but it is more about strategy, the right tools, the right people, not just commands. And by the way, I am terrible at coding.”
He grew up wanting to be a software developer, going on to write a virus lock at St. Mary’s School so no one could use the computer before him. “Quite evil, but I had to find ways to get an advantage.”
For a man who is ever dealing with worry, is there anything he is not worried about? “You know Gameli, my name, means God’s time is the best. Recently, I lost a job opportunity, and I took it in stride. I don’t worry about things I have no control over.”
He is a tactician, more than a rouser or a cajoler or a motivator.
“I want to leave an impression on people. My youngest mentee is 17 years, and he challenges me. When people talk cybersecurity, I want my name thrown in the conversation.”
Is there a question he gets tired of being asked? “Yes. What time do I sleep?” Well, what time do you sleep? “I sleep when sleep is there,” he says, as he dials in for another conference, the first in a series of mentorship webinars for the day.
This article was written by Eddy Ashioya and was first published in the Business Daily here.