A Cameroonian teenager is among this year’s 34 winners of Google’s annual coding challenge for young programmers, becoming the first African to do so despite not having internet in his region due to government shutdowns.
17-year-old Nji Collins Gbah was forced to ask his uncle for money to travel from northwestern Cameroon, where the government has shut down internet due to unrest, to a French-speaking town where internet was available so he could take part in the challenge.
Nji’s father jokingly says he used to punish him for spending too much time on the computer and had to lock it away sometimes to force him to focus on his studies. Now he is thankful that all that time was not in vain.
Nji is scheduled to join his fellow winners from across the world on a visit to Google’s headquarters in California in June this year.