Mr Sopia Luca demonstrates to a tourist how a to use an e-book reader at the college where he is an IT lecturer. The Maasai moran took the advantage of free Internet access to study a tour guide course as he could not afford to raise the fees required. His quest to further his studies, has seen him pursue a higher diploma course online. He is now a member of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association.
At only 24, Mr Sopia Luka might have achieved what many of his fellow Maasai morans of his age still perceive as the wildest dreams to achieve.
He is an online student, an IT lecturer a tour guide and a researcher all rolled in one.
Clad in his Maasai traditional attire, the IT expert who took an online tour guide course after mastering how to make use of a computer is not afraid to reveal that four years ago, a computer was alien to him.
While undertaking Information Technology course at a college where he was given a 6 month scholarship, Sopia Luka took the advantage of the free Internet and studied his dream course online.
Mr Sopia is one of the few people who have saved a lot using the available resources to makes ends meet.
By training online, he saved a total of Sh80, 000, the amount he could have parted with so as to get a tour guide course.
After completing his form four, like many other students who face similar situations, he lacked fees to join college.
He took up a contract as an untrained community guide, a job which he said he had always dreamed of.
PROFESSIONAL TOUR GUIDE
“But I had always wanted to become a professional, a tour guide whose work and contribution to the society would be recognised”, he said.
One time while taking some tourists around, one of them asked him if he would be interested in taking up an Information Technology course through a 6 month sponsorship.
“My response was a quick yes. It was like a dream to a young moran thirsty for education and eager to even see a computer leave alone touch it,” he said.
For six months, Sopia studied Information at the Tennessee Institute of Information and Technology in Elburgon area of Nakuru under a scholarship programme.
But while undertaking the course away from home, an idea struck him.
He realised that he had not lost the passion of being a tour guide although his parents did not have the money to enrol him in a college.
After the first three months of studying basic computer applications and the Internet, he realised that he could study on his own and that there was no need for a lecturer.
“To me, it would cost a lot of money which I could not raise at the time and my time in school was almost running out.
By that time, I had already mastered almost everything about the internet.
I then settled for the option I could afford - research for the topics and then download the notes and study on my own.
He made a visit to the Lake Nakuru National Park to inquire on the amount of fees one needed so as to complete a diploma in tour guiding.
“An idea struck me and I realised that I could as well learn online for free while watching the tutorials online.
I then went back to inquire on the subjects and topics included in the course,” he says.
The rest, he says, is history.
He found himself studying at his free time and researching from the Internet.
After all, he said, he could access Internet at the college for free.
For the next seven months, Luka studied online.
He then booked and sat exams his at the Nairobi National Park, earning his diploma.
His quest to further his studies, has seen him pursue a higher diploma course while doing his multiple jobs which include teaching information technology (IT) in college, doing research at Maasai Mara National Reserve as well as acting as a tour guide.