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MUTISYA: How South Korean scholarship changed my tech view

Kelvin Mutisya, aged 29-years-old describes himself as an enthusiastic young man who enjoys the company of computers, mobile phones and more screens, big or small.

Kelvin with friends from Kazakhstan and another from Kenya. They are Paul, Dana and Kelvin respectively. Photo/KELVIN MUTISYA

Kelvin Mutisya, an Information Technology guru. He is passionate about using ICT to improve daily living. Photo/MWINGI TIMES

Kelvin was admitted to South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU) in 2012 to study a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He later changed to Bachelor of Business Information Technology (JKUAT).

After three months in the Kwa Vonza- based university, an exchange programme came up between SEKU and Wonkwang University in South Korea.

He says he was lucky to be among the four students picked to study abroad. “There were only four opportunities. They were from the School of Engineering, School of Pure and Applied Sciences and School of Economics and the School of Humanities. I was lucky to be chosen from the School of Pure and Applied Sciences”, he tells MWINGI TIMES.

Mutisya says that there is a huge technological difference between Kenya and South Korea. Understandably, South Korea already has 7G internet while Kenya only has up to 4G. It is however trying to roll out 5G. 

An aerial view of the Wonkwang University. Mutisya was awarded a scholarship to go and study here in 2012. He was a student in Seku. Photo/FILE

Being a tech country, South Korea has free Wi-Fi installed in transit buses, trains, restaurants, toilets, public and recreational parks. “Wi-Fi is almost everywhere in South Korea”, says the youth from Kitui South Constituency.

“LG and Samsung originate from South Korea. You can imagine finding even the smallest kids with the latest model of tech”, said Mutisya during an interview in July 2022 on the sidelines of Senator David Musila gubernatorial campaigns where he was part of his media specialising in editing and graphic design.

Safe browsing

Kelvin Mutisya thanks the Government of Kenya for introducing the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) where pupils are exposed to technology from a young age. He advises parents to support their children by ensuring they only access safe internet.

A statue of a Buddha priest in the middle of Wonkwang University, South Korea. Photo/FILE

It was not all easy during his stay in South Korea. Mr Mutisya says that apart from technological divide, he also faced language barrier and racism.

“Majority of South Koreans are Buddhist. Even the university I was in is a Buddha university. There are Christians and a few Muslims especially foreigners.

If you want to greet someone in Korea, you have to bow. That’s their culture regardless of where you come from. If you defy, your greetings may be mistaken for rudeness. Imagine greeting 50 people or more per day. That’s enough exercise to burn some calories (jokingly)” explains Mutisya.


Kelvin’s friend from Ghana was jailed for 15 years. He was dating a Korean partner who accused him of rape. He narrates the unfortunate incident, “Korean ladies and guys love hanging around guys of colour. But as for taking that friendship serious…Mmmh maybe the ladies fear stigmatization of being told they have a Black friend or boyfriend so they can do anything to avoid the stigma and that’s how my Ghanaian friend was jailed.

He had met this lady at a club and had a few drinks together. They left the club later together and found themselves in the guy’s residence. As for what happened next, I can’t speculate”.

As Kenyans embrace technology on a daily basis, Kelvin urges the government to do more in fighting cybercrime. He says Kenyans should avoid clicking internet links they are unsure of their safety. 

He also urges users to shun installing apps which are from unknown developers. This creates a backdoor or gives access to your devices. Before allowing any programme to access or make a change to your device you must first understand its role and weigh the usefulness or its value on your device.

It's also advisable from time to time to backup your files and factory reset your device. Just a caution to erase something that might have installed in your device unknowingly”.


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