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Big Game: The Birth Of Kenya's Games Industry

There was no game industry in Kenya six years ago. Wesley Kirinya was one of the country's first game developers. Working alone, Kirinya created and released Adventures of Nyangi — a crude Tomb Raider rip-off with an African protagonist and limited sound.

He had no tools or mentors to guide him — just his drive, his passion and an internet forum filled with people from other continents. It took Kirinya three years of reading tutorials and importing expensive books from the U.S. just to learn the necessary skills.

He put the game online for $9.95, making headlines around the world, but there was a problem getting the game to people in his native Kenya. "The file was like 700MB," he says, "And internet — right now we have four, five [fiber] optic cables emanating into the country. But back then it was just satellite bandwidth." Few people could afford access, much less download such a large file.

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