If you’re reading this you’re probably a coder or know someone who codes.
Software programming has become a lucrative career in the country. As Kenyans complain of lack of jobs, skilled developers are paid upwards of Sh100,000 as their starting salary. Those who code freelance earn potentially much more.
Every college and university is now offering a software related course, and the uptake has been great. Some fancy words are being thrown around, like Game Development or AI development but the programming basics are the same.
But it takes a lot of hours and self teaching for a coder to be very good.
There’s no denying that Kenya has some really good software developers, but I don’t think you’ll find anyone like Kennedy Kanyi. Unlike his peers who code with already established languages like Java, C#, C++, Python, PHP, Ruby etc, Kanyi has developed his own programming language, and that’s not something you hear everyday.
Here are 10 things you did not know about him.
1. Kanyi is a middle child – Second born in a family of 3.
2. He is only 25 years of age.
3. He was raised in Kirinyaga county and went to Mombasa Baptist High School.
4. He holds a degree in Information Technology from JKUAT.
5. While in campus, he used to teach programming to fellow IT students at night.
6. He is the first known African to write a comprehensive programming language from scratch (details below).
7. He is a super fan of Lenovo products and advocates for people to use Lenovo and Lenovo alone.
8. He Released an open source documentation on Pesapi at a time when Safaricom MPESA API was unreachable. The documentation has hit massive views since its release on the pesapi official website. Ever since then, Kanyi has been helping corporates and SMEs integrate Payment systems.
9. He can code in more than 15 programming languages and has unmatched knowledge in payment, USSD, shortcode and bulk SMS systems.
10. He runs a software company – Oneplace Technologies Limited, located along Mombasa road.
Kanyi’s programming language is called BraceScript.
It is a simple to deploy and use programming language mainly targeting kids. It uses simple commands coupled with graphical commands that children will love.
For Kenya to be a major player in the future technology world, our kids must learn programming from an early age. The government understands that and that’s why there’s the laptop programme. However, parents must take a proactive role to steer their kids to a prosperous future. The likes of Zuckerberg and Bill Gates did not start coding in university.
As a matter of fact, Mark Zuckerberg got his first programming tutor at age 11 and Bill Gates had started hacking by 13. Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of PayPal and current CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, wrote a computer game when he was just 12, which he sold for $500 in 1984.
Their success was more or less pre-ordained. And that’s the story of many American Silicon Valley billionaires.
You can do the same to your kid who has shown some interest in tech.
Kanyi and his team have taken upon themselves to nurture the next generation of software programmers. The young boys and girls who will establish Kenya’s own Silicon Valley.
Brace Kids is targeting kids between 8 and 17 years, to train them the concepts of programming and software development. By the end of the training, each kid will be given the task of developing creative websites or software applications using the knowledge they have learnt.
By the time they join University, they will be miles ahead of everyone else, and who knows what they might invent with their knowledge.
This is the best gift you can give your child.