Polymath in the Wild

Kasyoka Mwanzi

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.”
- R. A. Heinlein

Thanks in part to a liberal arts education, but mostly to curiosity, I love learning. Be it figuring out how to brew the perfect cup of coffee, analysing my running gait so I can complete a marathon, or reading about gene editing and the de-extinction movement to bring back the woolly mammoth.

I have lived, studied and worked in 7 countries - Kenya, USA, South Sudan, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong - across 4 continents. In the last 3 years I studied in the city with the best quality of life (Vienna), Europe’s happiest city (2017: Aalborg), and the most most densely populated place on earth (Mong-Kok). Like most Kenyans I grew up trilingual (English, Swahili, Kamba) and over the years have added basic German and Danish.

I have worked as a Graphic Designer, Creative Director, Gender Officer, English as a Second Language Teacher, Small Business Owner, Photographer, Communications Consultant, Event Coordinator and a Business Development Strategist for award winning ad agencies, nonprofits, insurance companies, travel agencies, startups and biotech companies.

I played the piano, acted in the theater, sang in an acapella choir tour across Taiwan, and exhibited my photographs at L'Alliance Française Nairobi for international women’s day. I have rafted down the Nile, climbed Mount Kenya, winched a Land Cruiser out of a river bed in South Sudan, run a half-marathon in a thunderstorm, and paraglided off a mountain in Salzburg.

I like the term Renaissance Woman as it calls to mind the enlightenment era when the prevailing thought of the time was an emphasis on acquiring knowledge. I am a generalist - full of knowledge across fields like design, learning, modern art, business, marketing, identity, gaming and genomics. And I want to share this knowledge and these experiences with our next generation.

I am Heinlein’s human.
I still can’t solve a rubik's cube, but I have plenty of interesting stories.