How did you end up at Nailab?
I happened to be in the same Whats app group as Mr Sam Gichuru, the founder and CEO of Nailab. He and a couple of guys, came to Tanzania 2 years ago for training that I attended. Later on they created a group with all the participants as a way of staying in touch. Late last year Mr Gichuru posted a job on the group for a software developer, as I read through the Job description, I felt like it would be an incredible opportunity for growth, so I applied. I was invited for an interview, I passed, and joined Nailab this year. I did not see it as a barrier applying for a job in a company in Nairobi and that’s because movement within East Africa is easy, its like travelling within cities.
What exactly is your role at Nailab?
I am a software developer. My job is to develop software for Nailab. I have been at Nailab for 1 month now and am currently building software. I must say building this software is challenging me to learn new ways of doing things and my way of thinking.
What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you entered the Nailab space?
Excitement! of the possibility that this is where I am going to work. If you have been here before then you know that the space is quite cool. Otherwise I wasn’t too shocked to see a big co-working space. I visited several hubs while in Tanzania so seeing a big co-working space wasn’t very surprising.
What is your favorite part of working for Nailab so far?
I would say the Nailab team. I have never been part of a team that is so energetic. They challenge me to work even harder and deliver.
How has the transition been? Have you finally settled in Kenya?
It’s work in progress. I am not fully settled; I am still sorting out my papers. I have been here for a month and all this time I have been living with my friend. He is like family and I would say he has made the transition quite easy. He has been showing me around and giving me all the support that I need.
Why choose to work for Nailab and not any other company?
I came to Nailab in search of growth, it didn’t matter that I had to leave my home. I have worked in smaller companies in Tanzania, the problem is that none of my previous jobs challenged me to grow, they were all tasks that I could easily handle. So, I felt stuck.At some point I quit my job and I freelanced for about 8 months, but it was still the same, none of the tasks I got challenged me to grow either. When I saw that job ad, on the Whats App group, the first thing I did was research about Nailab. I saw that they are a leader in innovation as well as running acceleration programs and I automatically knew that Nailab is the right place for me to take my career to the next level.
How would you describe Elias?
Elias is an information junkie, I am always reading new information online. Technology is my passion and as you know tech evolves which means to stay abreast you have to keep researching new ways to do things otherwise you will be left behind.
What do you do for fun?
I play basketball, football and I like going out, I am yet to spot a good club in Nairobi. My all-time favorite hobby is learning new things in technology.
How do you overcome challenges, even when you feel like giving up?
Through the course of life, I have learnt ways to deal with challenges. I was denied entry to university in 2011 because I hadn’t met the minimum requirement to enroll for a particular course that I wanted. That was very devastating. I stayed home for about 7 months, sad and I had lost all hope. Eventually I overcame the challenge and enrolled into another school. During that time I learnt to never let anything get me down. Since then the only thing that keeps me going, even when I feel like giving up is the confidence of knowing that everything will pass, and no situation is permanent.