The world is our oyster: The young names carting the way into the future through technology


Technologies such as the metaverse, artificial intelligence, blockchain and decentralised finance are at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The world is swiftly changing, and it is no secret that technology will soon disrupt how we do things. Technologies such as the metaverse, artificial intelligence, blockchain and decentralised finance are at the centre of the fourth industrial revolution, the rapid advancement of modern technologies during the 21st century, but many people are yet to understand, let alone embrace them.

There are, however, some young people who aren’t waiting for the future to bring these technologies to life. They have established themselves in the tech world with innovations that earn them livelihoods and disrupt the status quo. They share their stories, inspiration and aspirations, with MyNetwork.

Mathew Munyao

Mathew Munyao, the founder of Africa Meta Club and VirtualIsReal.

Photo credit: Pool

Mathew Munyao, 23

Metaverse Architect/Developer,

Founder, Africa Meta Club and VirtualIsReal

When Mathew told his parents that he’d be dropping out of college to become a metaverse developer, they were not just appalled, they were also upset that he was letting go his degree for what they considered just a passing cloud. It didn’t help that they understood nothing of the novel technology.

Their views however changed when months later, he started sending home some money instead of asking for their support. Today, Mathew is a well-known developer of virtual real estates in Kenya, with a couple of accolades to his title.

He is credited for working with creators of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) – digital collectibles and artworks – to build the first ever African virtual museum on the metaverse.

Mathew always wanted to become an architect, in the real world, but he didn’t make the cut to pursue it at university, instead, he was accepted for a Computer Technology degree at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), which he didn’t pursue for more than two years.

“I realised that degrees are not really that helpful in our age, because I found out that I could learn anything I wanted to online,” he says, adding,

“I decided to teach myself the skills I needed, that’s how I ended up becoming an architect in the metaverse.”

He is often contracted by various companies, mostly international, to help them develop buildings in the metaverse, create virtual meeting rooms, and organise virtual events among other services, from which he earns a living.

But while the cryptocurrency and artificial intelligence are widely unpopular technologies, the metaverse is even less popular and Mathew might as well have been the first Kenyan to venture into the industry.

“When I joined the space, I realised I would need a community, that’s why I started the Africa Meta Club, bringing together metaverse enthusiasts and developers to help grow the technology on the continent,” he says.

The organisation has been organising virtual and physical summits to popularise the metaverse concept and educate enthusiasts and beginners on opportunities in the technology. They have also been lobbying for improved government and investor support to improve adoption of the novel technology.

Besides the club, Mathew is also the proprietor of VirtualIsReal, a company that carries out projects on the metaverse.

He describes the internet as “a sea of endless opportunities”, therefore, young Kenyans should not decry unemployment when they can access the internet.

Yvonne Kagondu

Yvonne Kagondu, is the founder of Kenya Blockchain Ladies DAO.

Photo credit: Pool

Yvonne Kagondu, 27,

Blockchain Marketing and PR Consultant

Founder, Kenya Blockchain Ladies DAO

After completing her degree in Financial Economics at Strathmore University, curiosity pushed Yvonne to take another course in Software Development at the Moringa School, which would mark the start of her journey into the blockchain and cryptocurrency world. Today this is her primary source of livelihood.

Although she didn’t finish the course, she managed to understand enough about cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology to consult for, market and publicise companies in the industry or those seeking to enter. Her clients are mostly firms that develop cryptocurrencies and digital tokens and crypto exchanges.

“My first job in the crypto industry was as a Telegram moderator, growing gradually to become a community expert,” she recounts.

“Today, I help big names in the industry understand the Kenyan and African market and how they can grow their businesses here. I’m also an advisor at Ngemi, a company of Web3 (Blockchain) developers.”

For the five years Yvonne has been working in the crypto industry, she says, the scarcity of women in the sector has been so conspicuous that she might have felt she was in the wrong industry. That is where the idea of Kenya Blockchain Ladies DAO (Decentralised Autonomous Organisation) came about.

“I realised there was a gap in this space because there were many complementary roles – that didn’t necessarily involve coding – that men didn’t want to do, but which women would excel in,” she told MyNetwork.

Through the non-profit organisation, Yvonne has been helping train young women on how they can get decent and genuine jobs in the crypto industry and how to do them. This, she believes, can help offset the rising youth unemployment crisis in the country.

But while her career may come across as effortless and interesting, it isn’t always. As many already know, the crypto industry is extremely volatile, and last year was its year of worst turbulence, which affected all those that rely on it.

“When the market is down, so are the gigs, which means less income, but just like in every other sector, we get used to the ups and lows and try our best to survive the bad days in anticipation of the good ones.”

For Yvonne, the crypto industry has been an eye opener to how the internet has turned the entire globe into a single community, with everyone just a click away. From her bedroom, she says, she can access a limitless number of clients from all over the world.

She is now looking to diversify her portfolio and establish some passive income streams, but unlike many people her age, getting a job is not on her list.

Moses Njau

Moses Njau, the founder, of AI Wakforce.

Photo credit: Pool

Moses Njau, 27, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Developer, Founder, AI Wakforce

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Nairobi, Moses roamed the streets of Nairobi for months without getting a meaningful job, a factor that motivated him to upskill through self-taught and free online courses.

After acquiring some computing skills, he managed to get a dead-end job with an AI company in the city. He explains that the job paid just enough to keep one going but was not exactly sustainable. He worked there for one and a half years before he resigned to try out his own ideas.

“I found what the company was doing very interesting and started looking for where I could learn AI development skills. That’s how I found CS50, a free online course offered by Harvard University,” he says.

He took the course for 10 months and then started freelancing as an AI developer and computer programmer. He also started developing his own software, which would later grow to become a company, AI Wakforce.

His company provides a system which automates check-out processes in retail stores, reducing operating costs for businesses by lowering their need and demand for cashiers. It is already in use by some big stores locally and internationally.

“When I resigned, I had absolutely nothing and no hope for any other employment, but I decided to take the gamble and start working on my own company. Today, it pays my bills and has given me a full-time job,” he told MyNetwork.

He is now venturing into an e-pharmacy business and hopes to build a subsidiary company in the industry soon to diversify his income.

Moses describes AI as a rapidly growing technology whose potential businesses will realise in the near future.

“Like any other technology, it has its pros and cons, but many tend to focus on the demerits, such as its ability to replace human labour, yet there are many things and improvements that AI can do that cannot be done by humans,” he argues.

While Moses is unable to predict the future, he knows that the AI industry will always have opportunities for him to explore and is determined to constantly look for them. He also doesn’t want to ever get employed again.

In his journey of building a tech career from a science degree, he reckons that irrespective of one’s background, technology offers limitless opportunities that anyone can explore to build a successful career in the industry.

After years of exploring those opportunities, he appeals to peers, “Always be eager to learn new skills. Adapt to changes, especially in technology, and be ready to master practical skills rather than so much theory which might not really help.”

Wanjiku Njoroge

Software developer Wanjiku Njoroge at Nation Centre, Nairobi, on February 7, 2023.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo

Wanjiku Njoroge, 23

Metaverse/Game Developer

Unlike many innovators who have made strides in technologies trodden by few, Wanjiku wouldn’t mind getting employed, as long as she does what she loves.

She is yet to graduate from KCA University with a degree in Software Development but has made more strides in this novel technology than most of her peers and is already a respected name among the few Kenyan metaverse developers.

Software development was a dream inspired by her father, who told her it’s the future. Her bias for game and metaverse development resulted from her love for video games from childhood.

“My journey to the metaverse started with a classroom assignment. Our lecturer asked us to create a multimedia project. I drew the inspiration from some posts I’d seen in social media about digital wearables, that’s when I started exploring the metaverse,” she told MyNetwork.

One of Wanjiku’s latest projects in the metaverse is a virtual fashion runway, in which she worked with fashion designers and models to create digital wearables, bringing the real-life experience of a beauty pageant to the metaverse.

She says she is just setting her foot in the industry and has not been able to take up gigs to earn from because she’s still studying.

“But no one can convince me that there is no money to be earned from the metaverse. It is still a small sector that’s just starting, but I know there are several ways to make money out of it even now,” she comments, and adds, “Right now, what we can do, and that we’re doing, is to create awareness of the metaverse, tell people what it can do, show them how they can incorporate it into their businesses and in their daily lives and why they should do so.”