If you are suffering at home with nothing to do but you can speak some Swahili, then probably you are not thinking, or not thinking hard enough.
A 12 year old Kenyan boy has turned the Covid-19 misfortune into an opportunity by tutoring University students studying Swahili in Europe and US via the zoom application. So far, he has made over KShs 265,000 in the last 30 days just sitting and talking to people in Swahili.
Daring at Home
While most pupils of his classmates are idling at home watching TV and a few pretending to be studying online, Prosper Wekesa found a job opportunity that would be the envy of any Kenyan graduate. He advertised through his cousin who studies at Princeton University that he can offer tutorials to any student struggling with his Swahili studies.
Message got around quickly and within a short time, he had enough students willing to spend $9 per hour learning Swahili from the young man. In fact, he had to turn away some potential clients as his workload is too heavy.
Prosper simply uses his class textbooks to teach and this is a double win for him since it also helps him revise for his class seven exams. At the moment, he spends ten hours a day teaching student who are from various institutions in US and Europe. He has 17 students whom he combines into different groups depending on proficiency and time zones.
A normal day for him starts at 9 am, but does not end until midnight, owing to different times zones of his students. He says that his major investment include a back internet service in case the normal home fiber connection fails, and a laptop that can last for 6 hours on battery. Luckily, they have a standby generator at his home in kileleshwa where his family lives.
He often uses the paid version of Zoom, although at times he switches to Skype and Google Meet whenever it is appropriate or depending on the platform his students are most comfortable with.
He says that he often starts the day by planning his schedule, before meeting the first group of students at 11:00 am. This goes on for the better art of the day, with occasional breaks for snacks and refreshments.
Surprisingly, the young master Wekesa does not plan to be a teacher ‘when he grows up.’ His eyes are firmly set on a career in Civil Engineering, an ambition he has held since he was young.
His parents and siblings have been supportive all through, and they hope that his story can inspire other young people in Kenya to look for opportunities wherever they can be found. “What Prosper has achieved is remarkable, and we would want to see more young people explore such opportunities. We also call upon the government to empower the young people who may not have access to computers and internet so that they can also benefit from such opportunities.”
With young people like Prosper, the future of remote work and Kenya looks bright.