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Students Thoughts

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My thoughts about life and about my dreams and visions.

I would like to see the world moving to a better place

'T' for Turere: A Story of Initiative

French_FreddyPosted by Fred Fri, May 11, 2012 11:15AM
Sometimes to err is human, and to human is to exaggerate. I've been guilty of many exaggerations in my posts, and a lot more take-my-head-off-and-smash-it-onto-a-drum melodrama. This, however, is no exaggeration.

Do you have an 11-year old in your homestead? Does he skate like Evan Doherty and drive you crazy like a Kenyan matatu with his occasional falls off his prodigious pedestal? Maybe your kid even says the times table to the nth power? Impressive, aye? Well meet Richard Turere and get a bit depressingly impressed.


At the age of 11, I had made out with - and told on - about 11 girls since kindergarten and gotten over them. At 11, Turere had faced LIONS; conquered, gotten over them and all!!!. I kid you not, Samson. And no, ladies and lions do not have any similarities. Save for the retractable claws.

Here's how the cradle of brilliantkind did it. Without any knowledge of electronics or advanced art in science, Richard faced the possibility of losing his responsibility and livelihood as a cattle-herder in the plains of Kenya to the Man Eaters of Kitengela. Impossible odds, no? How about learning that he actually cared about the lions almost as much as he did his cattle, and did not see them as expendable creatures? Impossibler odds?

Well if anyone embodies possibility, this idea worth spreading is the young Turere. He came up with a system of dancing lights using a car battery and bike indicators, strategically lined along his homestead's fence. All this from the observation that lions did not like [read 'scampered off like little kitties'] at the sight of a flickering torchlight. And in this simple innovative way, complicated as Kenyan politics for a kid who shoulda been doing his tortuously impractical 8-4-4 homework, Turere avoided this:

Lion project - The face of predation

He has now, at age 13, graced Brookehouse Schools with his presence: on a full scholarship to meet and interact with dozens of bright young Kenyans like himself - or lesser even - and have the same sort of impact but on a bigger scale. Kudos to Brookehouse for that, but even more kudos should go to Paula Kahumbu for finding the young prodigy, and the most kudos to Turere for taking initiative. Not for being a part of the solution; for being the ONLY solution that the neighbourhood he lives in has in the face of predation.



Food for thought, that, Mr List-all-the-problems-Kenya-has-NEVER-the-solution. And of course am not about to forget you, Mrs Oh-My-Nailpolish-spilled-over Oooh-that'll-make-a-cool-tweet!

So you say the 'T' in T-Pain stands for Teddy? No way! Turere patented #Winning long before we had the hashtag! He now also joins FabLab. Inspired yet? I'll hazard a guess it's either that or utter standing ovation while inwardly green as a pea pod. The time to act is NOW!

See Photos of Turere and the Lion Light at @PaulaKahumbu's post, WidlifeDirect

[Blogger @french_freddy's earlier posts can be found in the Diary of a Serial Schizo]

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