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Monday July 28, 2014
Any student who
does not grasp
maths and sci-
ence knows the
working through logarithms
and scientific jargon that
sound like gibberish.
But John Mwaura an IT
expert who is also a trained
accountant has developed a
programme to help pupils un-
derstand the two subjects.
Mwaura was once em-
ployed in a primary school as
a computer teacher and this is
where he developed a passion
for developing programmes to
"In 2004 while teaching
computer in a primary school
I thought of coming up with
a science and mathematics
programme to help pupils
understand the two subjects
better as they are perceived
as the hardest subjects by
most pupils," Mwaura told PD.
The programme targets pu-
pils aged between seven and
Intially Mwaura faced a
major challenge because at
the time not many homes and
schools had computers and
he abandoned the project until
last year when he took it up as
a commercial venture.
Pupils only need a comput-
er and basic IT knowledge to
operate the programme. The
programme, which is going
for Sh500 helps pupils under-
stand the subject better by
giving them an easy step by
step guide on how to work out
formulas. Mwaura has been
using approved text books by
the ministry of education.
"My wife is a teacher so she
helps me with textbooks and
sample papers. Now that com-
puters are all over I hope par-
ents and schools will be willing
to use the programme," notes
of the week
Are you a budding filmmaker
looking for your big break?
Then news that submissions for
the Slum Film Festival are now
open should get your spirits up.
The festival welcomes short
submissions from any country
that are made by film makers
from the slums or those
about slums. All production
techniques and genres,
including drama, documentary
and community news reporting
or features can be submitted
by August 1, 2014. For more
details and application forms
go to http://slumfilmfestival.
net. Last year's winners in the
Best documentary film was 'A
Story of the Urban Poor' by the
APHRC. Winner of best slum
story was 'Dream Catcher',
by The Mwelu Foundation,
an interesting story, which
uses innovative techniques to
portray slum realities. In the
best narrative film a short film,
'The Young Smoker' by Tope
Oshin Ogun emerged tops.
on in August
This August holiday, instead
of letting your kids while their
time away watching TV why
don't you take them to the Kids
Hacker Camp at the i-Hub?
The week-long camp is
targeting kids and teens
aged between seven and 18
years, who are interested in
crafting, hacking, discovering
and tinkering. This edition of
the camp focuses on System
Thinking through Physical
Computing. The camp will run
from August 18- 22.
A new activity in the event will
be the Maker-Breaker Day on
August 9 during which the kids'
interests will be identified and
their capabilities assessed.
be Kenya's representative poem at the
2014 Commonwealth games, which
started on Wednesday.
Q: Your elder sister Caroline Nderi-
tu is a well known poet. Does the cre-
ative gene run in the family?
A: Not really, my parents were both
teachers. Dad, however, had a big col-
lection of books and I embraced the
reading culture when I was young.
Q: Do you feel like you have to
match up to Caroline and did she
encourage you to become a writer?
A: Not really because we do different
forms of poetry. Caroline does more of
free verse while I concentrate on the tra-
ditional verse forms. However, as my big
sister, I look up to her as my role model.
Q: Did you study literature in col-
A: Incidentally, I studied IT, and that's
what I do. But I have made time for my
first love -- writing. In addition, I also
write comedies and plays for different
theatre groups and corporates.
Q: What exactly does PEN Interna-
A: PEN is an acronym for Poets, Es-
sayists, Novelists. Its main objective
is to promote literature and champion
freedom of expression.
by Soni Kanake
@SoniKanakeAlexander Nderitu, the
younger brother to poet
Caroline Nderitu has
charted his own des-
tiny and isn't living in his
sister's shadow. From being the first
e-novelist in Kenya to having his poem
selected to be read out at the Com-
monwealth games, he is a man who
dons many hats; a writer, poet, digital
novelist, editor and PEN-Kenya deputy
secretary general. Does his success in
writing have anything to do with sharing
a birthday with William Shakespeare?
Q: How many books are credited
to your name?
A: Four: When the whirlwind passes,
Kiss, Commandor, Promise(short sto-
ries) The moon is made of green cheese
and Africa on my mind.
Q: Since you published, When the
whirlwind passes, your frst e-book
in 2001 what doors has it opened for
A: I facilitate the Masters classes on
publishing at Storymoja and in other
other institutions where I'm usually
called upon to talk on the same issue.
Q: You have recently embraced the
print-on-demand (POD) concept for
publishing your novels. How does it
differ from the regular publishing?
A: Since books are printed on order,
there is no inventory and you don't run
the risk of publishing books which you
can’t sell. A client identifes the book
they want printed from my e-books and
voila! This is indeed the concept for the
Q: Has putting pen to paper come
with any awards?
A: Well, one of my short stories, Life
as a fower got nominated for a Douglas
Coupland award in 2004, while Hannah
and the Angel, a short play won a The-
atre Company award in 2005. A Japa-
nese publisher also translated Hannah
and the Angel and a number of my po-
ems to Japanese. Also, some poems
have been translated to Arabic by an
Egyptian writer/translator, Mohammed
Q: Tell us about your latest achieve-
A: BBC Scotland picked one of my
poems, Someone in Africa loves you to
Poetry seems to
run in the family as
brother's piece is
picked to be read
out at the 2014
The tall blonde girl didn't come to East Africa
She was an Oxford student majoring in His-
And wanted to see the sites involved in slav-
And the relics of Arab-Portuguese rivalry.
I frst spied her walking alone by the
And something about her just
jumped up and bit me.
I asked her her name and she said,
'Suzanne...with an "e".'
From thence, there was no dis-
tance between us;
I took her to see the Gedi Ruins
and Fort Jesus
And at night we mar veled at a
sky as brilliant as a mirror
And cheered fre-eaters and
With ebony skins that glis-
tened in the moonlight like
Someone In Africa Loves
BY JOHN KARUME @jwachira84
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