African Genius… GM Talent in Kenya??
Kenya Kenya Kenya

There  is a very interesting story out of  Nansana, Kenya of a young man with tremendous calculating abilities. Can you multiply 23456 x 30 in your head? Probably. How about divide 2945 divide by seven? Maybe. Here's something that may leave you scrambling for a hand calculator… divide 11,633,011 by 47… to the 4th decimal.  Can you do it? Well there is a young man in Kenya who can perform these calculations in his head. This is the story of 20-year-old dropout named Paul Serunjogi, a phenomenal math talent known around his village as "Mr. Computer." 

When asked how he is able to perform these amazing feats, he responds, "Katonda yampa buwi kitone (God gave me a gift)." It is a story of marvel, yet one of pity. How is it that such a brilliant mind can go unutilized? We find such stories throughout the continent of Africa. Talent bursting forth, but not able to grow on fertile soil for lack of opportunities and resources. Who knows what Serunjogi would have become? Maybe he could have become an engineer… maybe he could have become a physicist… or maybe he could have become a chess Grandmaster. He spends most of his time doing household chores for an aunt and remains in quest of a dream… a dream deferred.

Read, "He's Faster than a Computer"

Posted by The Chess Drum:  1 July 2004