Sharjah Children's Reading Festival: 12-year-old CEO, author inspire young audiences

Patrick Njoroge Wachira, a chief executive from Kenya, and Devi Vaishnavi, who wrote two books, urged their peers to pursue their dreams


A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 21 May 2022, 3:37 PM

Child prodigies, young innovators and budding intellectuals in the fields of science and literature came together at the ongoing 13th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) to host a series of talks and share stories of their accomplishments.

Held at the Kids' Creative Cafe at Expo Centre Sharjah, the talks featured young philanthropist Patrick Njoroge Wachira and author Devi Vaishnavi, among others, who urged their peers to pursue their dreams and realise their full potential.

Patrick, a 12-year-old CEO from Kenya left the young audience awestruck with a presentation about his initiative, the PNW Innovations Programme, which offers free STEM education to underprivileged Kenyan children.

As part of the initiative, Patrick is working on a Mobile STEM Lab and Makerspace built on a bus equipped with robots and drones, learning kits, and electronic and mechanical workstations, which will travel throughout rural Kenya.

“I want to empower every African child to be an innovator,” he said.

An avid robotics enthusiast, Patrick said his favourite attraction at SCRF was the Robot Zoo. He added that he draws great inspiration from the UAE’s leaders for their efforts in building up the nation.

The line-up of gifted young speakers also included Devi, a precocious 12-year-old author of two books, who spoke about her writing journey.

She said: “I strongly believe that reading lays the foundation for writing books. If we cultivate the habit of reading, then we can experience the joy of writing.”

“I am greatly inspired by the words of Toni Morrison: ‘If there is a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it," added the young author, who is currently working on 26 more story ideas.

Sharing the inspiration behind her debut novel 'Vampid: The Vampire Virus', based on the events of the Covid-19 pandemic, Devi said: “This book is a token of love to the doctors, nurses, volunteers, and all those whose efforts have brought us back to our normal lives.”


'The Sky Speaks', her second novel, champions family values through a story about a young girl’s loving bond with her mother and sisters.

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