A Kenyan soldier, Immanuel Gitamo is a perfect representation that coming from a humble background does not mean it is impossible to have a successful future.
Growing up, Gitamo who currently works for billionaire Elon Musk encountered several challenges which all began after his parents abandoned him together with his brother.
“My brother and I were found abandoned by the roadside by a couple. I didn’t know my real father and mother,” said Gitamo during an interview with the Nation.
The two were however lucky to be adopted by the couple but since they were not wealthy, life was never easy for them.
Speaking to the Army journal in the US Gitami narrated how being unable to pay school fees forced the teachers to intervene by allowing him to study for free as he helped with school tasks in return. He also opened up about the fact that he owned his first pair of shoes when he was 14 years.
His fortune however changed after he completed his high school studies and got a green card which saw him go to further his studies in America.
After graduating with a Bachelors’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering, Gatimo pursued a Master’s degree in Nuclear Physics at the California Institute of Technology and joined the US army right after.
While in the army, he pursued his Ph.D. which was made possible by having military benefits to fund for his studies.
“My dissertation was about electric propulsion. That’s why I joined the Army. I was doing my dissertation for my Ph.D., and I needed to be able to defend it.
I was creating electric engine propulsion for spacecraft. In order to get to know how electric propellant works, I needed to know how solid propellant works. That’s what the Army uses to eject missiles, so I joined the Army,” said Gitamo.
He became the only soldier in the US military to have a Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 2019 and enrolled for Ph.D. in Atomic physics.
Gitamo also shared how he became part of Elon Musk’s Space X company [that designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft] stating that his intetest in the two engineering disciplines of aerospace made him sign up for the task.
“This is how I came to be part of the Space X project Falcon 9 which has been launched 107 times with 67 landings and 50 times having reflown tickets.
2027 SpaceX is a complete mission which we are still planning. It is meant to go to Mars,” he revealed.
In regard to how he feels about working with the billionaire, Gitamo says that Musk is a man he admires as a result of his outstanding achievements.