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The power to be your best lies within

True to the words of Scott Hamilton “The only disability in life is a bad attitude”. Mr. Bernard Chiira, or Ben as many know him, has lived his life nothing short of the astounding truth in that phrase. Ben was born with Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the spine and Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a genetic disorder characterized by brittle bones.


As the 5th born in a family of 6 children, Ben has turned out to be a role model and source of inspiration for his family and all who know him. Ben has chosen not to place “Dis” in his ability and has led a life like any other person if not better. He studied Bachelor of Business Information in Information and Technology (BBIT) in Strathmore University graduating with Honors in 2011. He got an opportunity to do a Mas­ter Of Sci­ence Degree in Mobile Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions and Innov­a­tion (MSc.MTI), which he completed and graduated in June 2014. In his undergraduate days, Ben served as the Academic representative in the Strathmore Student Council between 2011 and 2012.


Ben’s professional journey began @iLabAfrica, a Research Centre under the Fac­ulty of Inform­a­tion Tech­no­logy at Strath­more Uni­ver­sity, where he doubled up as a scholar and research assistant. He was recently appointed as the Incubation Manager @iBizAfrica, a busi­ness incub­ator facility that car­ries out the Entre­pren­eur­ship and Incub­a­tion theme of @iLabAfrica.


Ben’s typical day at @iBizAfrica entails running the operations of the incubator which includes training and mentorship sessions for startups, visiting other hubs, signing partnership agreements and ensuring that the incubatees have access to funding and investors and office facilities. Ben sees himself in a position of influence in the future.


Outside the workplace Ben enjoys playing chess, singing (he was a member of the Strathmore Chorale) reading and spending time with family and friends. Ben’s advice to those faced with different challenges out there is “Adopt a positive attitude, dream and dream big and challenge yourself. Never look down upon yourself”. He draws his strength from God, his family, friends and colleagues and his personal favorite, Nicholas James “Nick” Vujicic, an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with Tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs.


“I know that this is just a gift that God has given me and I am using it to the best of my ability to live a full life that will inspire others” says Ben as we conclude our interview.


Watch a video interview of Bernard here: