Mwangi Interviews African Leadership Academy Student: Tabitha Tongoi

The Interview

icon for podpress  Tabitha Tongoi interview [26:05m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Brief Introduction

I have known Tabitha, her family and her sister, Julie Tongoi, who I interviewed a while back, for years and years and years. So, it is with much pleasure that I learned about her being accepted to the African Leadership Academy and also share this interview with you.

Let me encourage you: let us record excellence or success and share it with our fellow Africans. Even if it is in things that may be automatic or easy to you e.g. getting a job or getting a house, there is an immigrant somewhere out there who needs to know what you know, so please, we need more versions of the Displaced African (tDA) and success magazine out there. For an example of this, check out Kelly’s articles on the interview process.

More Interviews?

By the way if you would be interested in me interviewing any more of the people accepted into the leadership academy, then leave a comment below or email me at masmilele(at)thedisplacedafrican(dot)com and let me know.

Things Discussed

1) Brief introduction to her and the leadership academy

2) How did she hear about the leadership academy?

3) Why was she chosen out of all the people interviewed ?

4) The criteria to get into the school

5) How did the school measure whether “someone has a passion for Africa”?

6) Her plans as she goes to the leadership academy and beyond

7) The pros and cons of the Kenyan 8-4-4 education system. You can click on the link to find out more about 8-4-4 or leave a comment below and ask me a question and I will tell you the little I know.
8) Information about Tabitha’s Project ABC (“A Book for Change”) which had the goal of providing text books to children who do not have access to them. Now tell me this isn’t what innovation is all about? Compare this with the work Fidelis Wainaina did as well.

9) What is it about her psychology and her day to day habits that separates her from her peers?

10) Who are her parents and what do they do?

11) Mental exercise:

Let’s asssume that you have a young, fresh African mind that is a blank state in your stewardship:

i) What are the principles you would use to guide this person?

ii) What would this child be doing on a day to day basis?

12) What type of support network does she have?

13) Her work process which has been described as outstanding.

14) How would she like to be remembered

If you like this interview, make sure you subscribe to the Displaced African podcast to receive the latest podcasts direct to your mp3 player. You can do this by either:

a) Subscribing to the Displaced African podcast RSS feed or;

b) Subscribing to the Podcast from Itunes

A Small Digression

Tabitha spoke about how she is able to hold off on enjoying her friends’ company from time to time, to work, because she sees the long term vision in it. For those who may not know what their long term vision is, or for those who need ideas on that let me recommend you check out the interview with Kirk Nugent where he talks about that.

Websites Mentioned

1) Find more information on the African Leadership Academy and Tabitha Tongoi’s involvement in it, read this article from the African Loft website.

2) Find more information on Kenyan education system, 8-4-4.

3) African Leadership Academy website.

4) Irene Tongoi’s, New Dawn Kenya

5) More information on her father, Dennis Tongoi

6) Karura Community Chapel

No Comments

  • By rags, August 14, 2008 @ 9:47 am

    Sup mwangi! I listened to the podcast and I must say that I wish Tabitha all the best in her maisha (life). As she was talking, I kept on hoping that as she never looses hope coz as you well know, the older we get the less determined we are to dream and take risks. Thanks for the podcast.

    As far as the technical aspect is concerned, you did a good job. I have a swali (question), what method do you use to record yourself and the people you interview so that you can weka them on a podcast? Oh yeah, thanks for subscribing to my youtube thingi!

  • By Mwangi, August 14, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

    @everyone: Please refrain from using Kiswahili or any other languages other than English so we can make the comments as accessible to all as possible.

    @rags: Indeed, a lot of the time, one can make the case that getting old is synonymous with emotional death, fear and the erosion of any grandiose dreams one may have once had.

    I think I shared this with you previously what I do:
    a) I use Skype (which you can get here: ) together with a software called Pamela Voice Recorder (which you can get right here: )
    b) I edit the sound with free open source software audacity (

  • By David Ogutu, August 27, 2008 @ 5:12 am

    To Tabitha: Congrats a lot. Especially for beating me in the ALA entrance and The ABC programme.

    To Mwangi: really, I thinks it’s Okay for Rags to mix languages if she feels free to do so provided that she translates as she has done above.

    Thumbs up again Tabitha! And Sam Gichohi and John Gitau(the strath guyz)!

  • By Mwangi, August 27, 2008 @ 5:16 am

    @David: Whenever people write in Kiswahili, I normally go and edit the comment and do the translation myself. I don’t know if you knew this, but I was a Strath guy too who probably wouldn’t have achieved as much as those cats.
    She is a pretty remarkable person. Who knows, when you get accepted in, I may be interviewing you (if you’re busy schedule will allow :P )

Other Links to this Post

  1. What Every African Immigrant Ought to Know About Recording and Sharing Success - The Displaced African — August 18, 2008 @ 12:47 am

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