Panther of the Week: Aaron Rono

Join us Every Tuesday as we celebrate Kimathi comrades who are making waves

This week’s hero on DekuTrends Panther is Aaron Rono, a 3rd year Gegis comrade. Aaron Rono is the founder of Kenova, the organization that launched DeChat. DeChat is a social media application a bit similar to Facebook, only that it is made for Kimathi. It can be looked at as a WhatsApp group with no limit to members. Once you download the app, here are some of the advantages you will enjoy:

  1. You can find and connect to any comrade in the University. If you ever wished that you could send a message to for example, the school president, DeChat enables you to make your wish come true.
  2. You can reach and address all Kimathi students on a single platform. Just like your message can be read by up to 257 people in a WhatsApp group, so will it be possible for your message as a comrade to get to the 7000+ students in Kimathi, once they enroll on DeChat.
  3. Students who share an interest can create a university wide group that has no limit on members.
  4. DeChat’s market section makes it possible for comrades to sell and buy from each other.
  5. DeChat’s hashtag feature makes it possible for the whole school to turn their attention to a single topic. Any comrade can voice their opinion on any such issue, just as hashtags work on Twitter.

To the best of our knowledge, no similar innovation has been developed and used in any other Kenyan campus before. The launch of DeChat, which is available for download on PlayStore, will no doubt mark the beginning of a golden era in Kimathi’s social connectivity scene. Barely a week after its launch, hundreds of comrades have downloaded the app. If you haven’t already, click here.

Aaron Rono, despite being a Gegis student, has been very active in tech activities since he joined the university. Below is a list of his achievements so far:

  1. He is the founder of Kenova (Kenyan Innovators), an organization whose aim is getting developers across the country to work together to solve problems through technology.
  2. He is the co-founder of KaziLink, an app that connects workers (mainly casual workers) to available jobs.
  3. He is the Chief Technological Officer of Plant Signal, a platform that helps farmers monitor plant health and detect diseases and connects them to agro vets.
  4. He is a Microsoft Student Partner, working as a student ambassador for Microsoft.
  5. He was part of the KaziLink team that won a sh.30,000 cash prize at the Konza Hackathon held last month.

When DekuTrends asked him how he first thought of DeChat, in his words:

“The story of how DeChat came to be is funny: I was in first year and one day, I viewed all status updates on WhatsApp and got bored. Then I wished I had the contacts of everyone in Kimathi so that I could view all their statuses. That’s when I started wondering; what if there was an app where every student here could post updates and it was accessible to everyone? With my passion in mobile development, I decided to try it as a way of improving my skills. That gave birth to version one of DeChat. With time, I thought, instead of making an app for just posting and viewing status updates, why not address some common problems caused by not having a wide audience? I did some research and got feedback which led to the addition of features. And that’s how DeChat was born.”

The activities and achievements of techies like Aaron Rono have helped earn DeKUT the excellent reputation it enjoys today. Hopefully, such apps as KaziLink, PlantSignal and DeChat go on to join nationally recognized apps like Escrow in providing tech solutions and making our lives easier as Kenyans. Escrow Kenya(twitter @escrowkenya) is a company that provides safety in online transactions. It was developed by a former student of Kimathi, Robert Kamaru.

If you missed our Money Monday post yesterday, check it out by clicking here

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