On July 2, 2017, three young Kenyans got the chance to meet Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in Buckingham Palace. They were among 60 youths who were awarded. Spreadzone Blog got an exclusive interview with Towett Ng’etich, a student from Moi University who is one of the recipients of the award.
SB: Which course are you pursuing?
TN: BSc. Communications and Public Relations
SB: Did you expect to win?
TN: Not really, it came as a surprise.I mean, we engage ourselves in many competitions, some we sail through, some we’re tuned down. But this, meeting the Queen was beyond our imagination.
SB: What project did you submit that got you the award?
TN: Well, I and a friend Evelyne Achieng – run a Startup called Uthabiti. And from the name you can tell we’re all about legitimacy, our core mandate is to fight counterfeit medicines and health products by creating access to safe medicines and health products to the crowded urban spaces population.
We have a mobile app which is an online market for pharmacies registered by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya. Patients access information on the product of their wish, which nearby store has it and at how much by logging in through our mobile app, from the app, they place an order and we deliver.
We also link these patients to doctors nearest to them, where they can consult through our chat portal. Think of this as an Uber of medicines. An online hospital. Let the medicine come to you, chill and stay healthy at home, or office.
SB: What challenges have you faced in trying to improve your community?
TN: Quite a number. But, I’d say culture. African culture is very rigid, especially on our side, where away from delivering your safe health products we openly talk about our sexual reproductive health. This is because the youth are the most exposed to counterfeit health products. When we talk of the fake morning-after pills, fake condoms, fake abortion pills. The society in most instances feels like we are encouraging immoral behaviour. But, hey! We’re at risk so we keep on talking about this.
SB: How many times did you apply?
TN: Just once, that’s why I was surprised to be among The Queen’s Young Leaders Award 2017
SB: What was the highlight of the whole awards ceremony?
TN: Well, that very moment when you walk into Buckingham Palace. I mean every moment in that place is just beyond.Standing in front of Her Majesty The Queen and receiving your award is quite defining, and she nobly asks you “so what do you do” – in her British accent. That there is a defining moment.
Well apart from meeting Prince Harry, Liam Payne (One Direction) and David Beckham.
SB: How do you think the award will help you in your future endeavours?
TN: Yes, it boosts confidence amongst our clients and partners. Everyone one wants to be part of a great thing.
SB: As a young leader yourself, do you think young people are ready to take on leadership in the society?
TN: Definitely yes.Walk into any big company. There is a big growth in the number of new young people taking over managerial positions. Walk into the innovation field, all these innovations are being powered by the new generation, in the political field, young people are winning seats.
SB: What else are you passionate about apart from leadership?
TN: I love sports, I’m a rugby guy and if I’m not playing rugby then find me in the house watching rugby. God made rugby for people like us – a game of gentlemen. (laughs) I love music too. DJ indoors, make beats as well- music is an art.
SB: Who do you look up to?
TN: Well there are a couple of people but, my mother and brother have been very instrumental in who I am today. How they work makes me want to be like them. My mother raised up two handsome men who both are stretching beyond the limits of what the society thought of them.
SB: Did you enjoy your stay in the United Kingdom?
TN: Two weeks in the UK was such an eye-opener. It was an experience that gave me motivation, happiness, exposure and even had me missing home.
Initially published on Capital Campus.