Open University (Uk) – 2009-2012 (PhD); London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine (MPH) 2006-2008; Bsc. Agricultural Economics (Egerton University)
PhD, MPH, B.Sc.
Oxford University and KEMRI-Wellcome trust (currently); previoulsy worked with GTZ (German technical cooperation); and at one time, I worked with the Ministry of Agriculture
Post-doctoral researcher in research ethics
Oxford University and KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, Kilifi.
Favourite thing to do in my job: Discovering new things, observing how things are in real life and trying to make sense of it.
I like to seek different views about what the right thing to do is (i.e ethics of conducting research)
My work is really fun and cool, I like engaging in conversations with different people. Many times, I like to seek opinions about issues that can sometimes seem controversial, or where we are not sure what the right thing to do is. For example, I might want to find out whether youth of 14 – 17 years should make decisions for themselves on whether or not to enroll in research. This can seem contrary to the current law which states that parents/guardians should make those decisions; and that the youth can be consulted. So then, I can decided to talk to different sorts of people, including youth, parents/guardians, health managers, researchers and others, compare their views and make some recommendations.
The other cool job I assist in is explaining research to community members and lay people. This is really interesting because I get to hear from different researchers all kinds of work they do, then try to figure out how to explain their research – which sometimes uses difficult terms and is not easy to understand – to people who may not know it. The fun bit is that we get to use different materials to explain research such as videos, leaflets, posters;I just love the creativity involved in this process.
My Typical Day
Helping researchers think what the right thing to do is under different circumstances
I usually wake up between 6.30-7am, take light breakfast (often tea and mahamri) and then get to office before 8am. Sometimes I get to office earlier if I have several meetings scheduled for the day. I spend about 15-30 minutes responding to emails, then attend a number of departmental and work-related meetings; take a break by around 11am – chat with friends, check up social medial, then resume work until 1pm when I break for lunch. Sometimes I work throughout lunch, especially if am out in the field.I work throughout afternoon; go for a walk or swim by 6pm, get home by 7pm, prepare and have dinner. Sometimes I get back to work, or can chill with some cool music, catch up with news in TV, read a book or watch a dvd. By 11pm, am knackered and ready for bed; other times, I can work until late – if there are deadlines to meet. Some days are busy, others are light. At the end of the day, it does not matter how many hours I put in, because I enjoy my work.
What I'd do with the money
Donate it to the School Engagement Project (SEP), a research project that is engaging schools in Kilifi about science and health research
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Outgoing, fun, observant
What was your favourite subject at school?
Mathematics, loved playing around with numbers.
What did you want to be after you left school?
Medicine, but I couldn’t stand the sight of blood and patients suffering
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Once, all for a good course though (or so I thought at the time)
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
An artist, hopefully producing masterpieces – (otherwise, how else will I pay the bills?)
Who is your favourite singer or band?
changes all the time, currently enjoying music by Diamond; Trey Songz, and Christine Shusho
What's your favourite food?
Biryani ya kuku – If only I was good at making it!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Tubing along river Mekong – I sat on presured tyre tube (similar to a floater) and rode the river current downstream. My behind was raw by the end of the tube ride
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Make ground-breaking research, get rich in the process and be a good influence to others
Tell us a joke.
After an end-of-term exam, the chemistry teacher asked John, “were the questions difficult?”. John answered, “the questions were not difficult at all, it’s the answers that gave me all the trouble”