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Math prodigy on how the youth are capable innovators

Many people believe that Africa is not a creative or innovative continent. They believe that Africans are more consumers than creators, but Tuyimbiaze Serge disagreed, believing that Rwandan and African youth are capable innovators.

To believe in what Tuyihimbaze is advocating, you must first understand his life journey and how he became a math prodigy and innovator.

Tuyihimbaze Serge was born in 1994 in Masisi, a small town in the North Kivu Province of Eastern DRC. He had no idea he was a prodigy; he had no idea what his life would turn out to be.

Tuyihimbaze was born while his family was seeking refuge in Congo. He grew into a curious, intelligent, and perceptive young man. Due to the complexities of their lives, his parents wanted to name him ‘Sergeant Major,’ but they settled on Serge; a suitable name that would probably not raise many questions.

They decided to return to Rwanda in 1996. They settled in Nyagatare and decided to make a life for themselves there. It is where he attended both primary and secondary school.

The change in environment had no effect on him; he was still curious and imaginative, to the point where he built a periscope on his own a few days after learning about optics during a Physics lesson in Secondary.

During our conversation, this bright young man stated that he always wanted to go above and beyond what he was taught. His mind was set on being imaginative and creative.

Something changed the course of his life in senior five, and it happened unexpectedly during an entrepreneurship lesson.

His entrepreneurship teacher showed the class an equation that he had never been able to solve that year. Because it appeared to be difficult, the entire class was wondering who could solve it.

Tuyihimbaze’s curious mind sought to solve the problem, so this was like music to his ears. He was determined to make it happen at any cost.

“I told them I needed two weeks,” he explained.

As a result, he spent two weeks searching for answers in his school’s library. His thirst was unquenchable as he devoured book after book in search of a possible solution to the equation.

Until one day he decided to create his own equation formula. Now, I am not a math person, and I never will be, but I understand why that is such a big deal.

Tuyihimbaze, the young zealed man proudly announced to his peers that he had solved the equation and created his own formula. I’m not sure about you, but I think that right there is a prodigy.

“I told them I needed two weeks,” he explained.

Tuyihimbaze presented the equation to his Math teacher, who had studied at the Kigali Institute of Education, KIE, and was assured that it was a concrete formula—not that Tuyihimbaze ever doubted that.

They decided to write to Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Education at the time.

“I gave my presentation in front of Gasingirwa Marie-Christine, the Director General for Science, Technology, and Research in the Ministry of Education,” he explained.

Tuyihimbaze stated that Gasingirwa was overjoyed. She could tell the young man had a promising future. Gasingirwa supported him. “She was ecstatic and encouraged me,” he said.

The ecstatic Gasingirwa summoned other prominent Math professors from universities, who evaluated the work of the Nyagatare Math prodigy.

His journey did not end there; he completed high school and wished to continue his studies at one of the top universities, but due to his grades, this was not possible.

He turned down a government scholarship to study business at the College of Business and Economics because he wanted to pursue a career in engineering.

Tuyihimbaze was a gifted math prodigy, inventor, and innovator. He was not going to give up on his dream despite everything.

He had to find a private university and pay for it on his own, but he had no other source of income, which is how the Math prodigy got into business.

“I learned how to do animation and advertisements, and that’s what I did to make money,” he explained.

He was able to begin his studies at the Adventist University Of Central Africa AUCA, where he met one of the professors who was evaluating the formula he developed many years before. They collaborated on a regular basis now that he was his student.

While doing so, he was also a member of the Klab team, one of Rwanda’s first technology laboratories. Later, he joined Fablab and rose through the ranks to become an innovation manager; all of this was done as a volunteer.

The prodigy was always eager to assist other young people with big ideas and big dreams.

Later on, Tuyihimbaza pursued two of his passions; Math and innovation.

Among other things, he co-founded Leapr Labs, a deep tech Ideation stage innovation and Applied Research Labs for Africa’s most pressing challenges.

The company seeks to innovate through technology and also assists startups in collaborating with other Tech startups. The company mentors and trains young innovators. Tuyihimbaze and his team assist young people in broadening their innovation skills.

Tuyihimbaze believes that young Africans should be able to generate and implement new ideas. He believes that Africa is capable of great inventions capable of solving the continent’s problems.

“Through Leapr Labs, I’ve been able to assist other young innovators. In Africa, there is a widespread belief that we should be users rather than inventors or innovators and that is what we want to change,” he explained.

“As part of our work, for example, we have taught young people how to design and build drones,” he added.

The gifted prodigy believes that young people have the necessary imagination to come up with game-changing ideas, but they must first acquire the necessary knowledge.

“Use your imagination to connect the dots and come up with solutions, and when you connect it to your knowledge, you can actually make it,” he explained.

He is convinced that talent exists among Rwanda’s youth and that it must be properly identified and provided with all necessary resources.

“We have talents in Rwanda; young people are talented; I know this because I spend all of my time with talented young people; they must be identified and assisted.” he stated

Tuyihimbaze not only recognizes the need for assistance, but also believes they should seize the opportunity on their own.

“Young people should not sit around waiting for help; instead, they should do something; you must be self-sufficient,” he said

“Everything begins with you.”

Tuyihimbaze works with diverse young people in coming up with innovative solutions to the country’s challenges

Straight out of Twitter