Top student George Thande Ndiho, aspires to change the tourism sector through technology, in a country where tourism is not at its peak as a blooming industry. The 24 year old George, studied a Bachelor of Science in Tourism Management, under the Centre for Tourism and Hospitality in Strathmore University.
Graduating with a 1st class honours, in June 2016, the first born of two children, believes his top marks spree is a result of a talent he has in learning. He attained a mean grade of A- in his KCSE national examination from studying at Lenana School.
Why did you choose to study Tourism?
I was interested in destination development and marketing destinations. When in highschool a representative from Utalii College came to speak to us on the course. He talked to us about travelling, airlines and national parks, and this built my interest towards the course.
I thought I will go to Utalii College but before enrolling into a university course due to the one year break between highschool and university, I decided to study a Diploma in Business Information Technology (DBIT) from Strathmore. I found the course to be quite easy, I finished with a distinction.
How did you get a scholarship?
While studying DBIT we were advised that if we graduated with distinction we will be awarded scholarships to study the degrees we aspired to study. I was therefore very blessed to receive a 90% student scholarship for a tourism course and with that my Strathmore journey continued.
As scholarship beneficiaries we were advised to sponsor some students once we get into employment. I plan on doing that once I get a good job.
What Activities were you involved with while at Strathmore?
In my 1st and 2nd year I played volleyball for the school.
I then join HATTS club (Hospitality and Tourism club) where I served as the secretary.
As CTH students we also got involved in naming of the trees around the university. We identify a tree, name it – local and scientific names, and name the uses. This is in an effort to create awareness of all 47 trees around campus. The project is still underway, we hope to complete it soon.
Are you a natural A’ student?
Yes I am an A student. Being a top student is something rich in our family.
I feel like being a top student is my talent, I don’t read much. I am keen on listening to what is taught and I understand quickly.
What have you been upto after finishing the degree?
Together with my classmate, we are working on establishing a tourism company.
In the tourism seasons, new hires happen from June due to the wildebeest migration. It is still low season right now, therefore finding a job is a bit difficult.
What motivates you to excel?
Coming from a developing county in Kiambu, I aspire to enhance young students to study hard and enjoy education. This will help with boosting the county. One of the major challenges in the area, currently being faced, is that people do not believe in education. I teach in the local schools as a channel to motivate students. I advise them to focus on education even as they aspire to get into business, which is an aspect most people believe in.
The advantage of studying tourism, to other sectors, is that you cannot automate tourism. It’s a people’s industry, therefore you have to employee, and to grow employees industries in this sector will need to improve drastically. I hope to be a good aid to help.
Who do you look upto as a role model?
I look up to Richard Branson, he has a good work life balance, which is very encouraging.
In Kenya I’m motivated by one of my former lecturers Mr. Fredrick Owuor.
What are your 5-10 years plan?
I want to invest in tourism – IT, due to my studying IT. I want to enhance communication in tourism, create mobile apps or communication platforms that create an awareness of the soft part of tourism in Kenya.
How is Tourism in Kenya?
The biggest beneficiaries of Kenyan tourism are foreigners. Kenyans will majorly get money from tips, tour guiding and transport.
This can be changed when local airlines and the tourism industry in general find a way of improving their services to attract more business.
What do you do with your spare time?
I spend most of my time in church, majorly being involved in planning safaris for the youth groups and preparing presentations for the church.