Russian nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom, has offered to sponsor bright Kenyan students planning to study for an undergraduate degree in Nuclear Science at two Russian universities.
Our writer had an opportunity to interact with Tanui Lawi Kipkogei from Uasin Gishu County, another beneficiary of the Rosatom Africa scholarship at MEPhI.
What keeps you motivated to go to study nuclear energy each day?
Despite the fact that Kenya is in the path to achieving a universal access to electricity, my home county of Uasin Gishu, remains the mainstay of Kenya’s economy.
At my parents’ home, we rely on solar energy to power our electronics despite not being sustainable. I dream of making my homeplace and Kenya at large a better place to access facilities live in an environment where basic needs are accessible and electricity as a major contributor.
I previously pursued a degree in Commerce. They say leave the road and take the trails, I am so much motivated into Nuclear field especially in the field of energy production, the world is viewing Nuclear field as a mixture of worry and hope, some have argue that we should move away from it, but wait should the world expand nuclear technology, invest its personnel into field of research and development of more advanced power stations.
How did you join National research nuclear university? Tell us your journey
I came to learn of the scholarship through a newspaper article on the Daily Nation in January 2019 that read “Russian firm to sponsor students from Kenya to study Nuclear”
I applied via Russia.study, checked the requirements, university options and chose the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI.The Russian embassy responded to my request after sharing the required documents and scheduled for an interview.
I ended up dropping my B. Commerce course after my 3rd year after qualifying for the ROSATOM scholarship.
What is your most proud achievement so far?
I am proud of myself, not because I have made in life but because I put my heart to my activities, exercising patience and treating live as a process and not a solution. I am proud because I place responsibility to myself, what I need to change to make it happen, the process of getting there, what I have to do, learn, apply and put it into practice. Remember that a man cannot just be comfortable without his own approval.
What is the best career you’ve ever received? What advice do you give to someone who wants to study in Russia?
Don’t let others manage your career evaluate yourself before opting to your desires.
When I applied to my previous university my uncle asked me to choose economics and statistics or accounts and finance as a course, which was
contrary to my subjects I did in high school.
During my first year, nobody bothered to help me, everyone in class was aware of the basic foundation of accounting and business ,every time a teacher ask a question, I could not answer in an accepted way but when it came to the field of math the students would come for my assistance.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to study in Russia?
People have misconception about Russian way of living, I was discouraged by my friends about coming to Russia, but my soul was telling me you’re in the right track and indeed I am. I feel like I am at home, “Семь раз отмерь, один раз отрежь” same as look before you leap always look whether you have alternatives because some opportunities comes only ones, Слово – не
воробей, вылетит – не поймаешь, to those who hear other people and make solution basing on them.
Russia is like any other country, developments only differ, basics services which most countries especially Kenya and other developing countries, Russia has therefore if you want to know how to drive you stay with the driver often.
Being in a foreign country can be difficult especially being a young student. What challenges have you face so far ?
Previously I have watched a toddler working on a jicksaw puzzle. This challenged me that universe wants me to succeed. When I came to Russia, language was a challenge to me. I had not studied the language before, and everything is in Russian, from products, places, streets, locations and books. I could take almost an hour just to request for a cup of coffee in a café,
this challenged me I had to remind myself that the universe has brought me here and I need to switch to this system to fit, I started learning on my own before we could start the lessons at school, thank God I can easily interact more with Russians which is increasing my level of
How is it adjusting to Russian life (climate, language) after leaving Kenya?
It’s difficult to foresee life in Russia but it is not surprising that life in Russia is the same as of any other country, people wake up, go to work, go to shops and supermarket to buy groceries, hangout to have a cup of coffee and visit parks. Language was a major barrier it sounded difficult but interesting, because we have some come words like tea “чай”, coffee and others
which makes any other foreigner feel comfortable.
I use to believe snow fall like stones, until I first experienced during winter last year, weather, is not extremely cold in my region and the average temperature does not fall below -15° , while the real warm does not start until May-June when people bloom leave their warm clothes. Kenya climate is quite different, Kenyan environment has been interfered thus it has led to climatic crisis, hence sometimes we experience longer dry seasons than rainy seasons.
How do you hope to apply your studies in Kenya?
Life is a field full of unlimited opportunities. I am studying Nuclear physics not only as an important pursuit but because it is at the heart of my ability to understand the universe.
For Kenya to achieve Vision 2030, nuclear energy is very paramount to any developing country. Therefore, I am studying this field to train myself in the application and utilization of nuclear field and technology and to promote an intellectual service to my country and to the rest of the world through research, teaching and outreach.
My next dream is to work with ROSATOM Russia, ROSATOM Africa and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria, a world renown nuclear institution in the world to make the world a better place to live.
Tell us the exciting things about Russia
To be sincere I have not completed exploring Russian and to find more exciting things, but I have happened to be in the major cities like St Petersburg and Moscow, what is more interesting is to find people travelling underground. Moscow metro the subway is more than
just a public transport, maybe I can refer it as an underground palace full of cultural heritage sites, trains installed with WI-FI where internet is inaccessible underground.
Russians are very proud about literature. it’s one of the biggest parts of their culture with most of the well renown writers plus they read a lot that they have opened an online library Rasskazovka to help its citizens download and read online books free at their pleasure.