– Mwale was initially employed at the Kenya Airforce, as a telecommunications engineer but fled the country, through Uganda and Zimbabwe before seeking asylum in the US.
-The tycoon is behind the multi-billion Mwale Medical and Technology City that is based in Butere, Kakamega. He smashed the glass ceiling through pioneering biometric technology and incorporating it with two-factor authentication as a secure way for online banking systems.
In his inspirational words, William Shakespeare wrote that there is always light if only we’re brave to see it and if only we’re brave enough to be it. These words appear to exactly mirror the life of Julius Mwale, a technology enthusiast who went to school barefoot but is now an established billionaire savouring life on the first lane.
Mwale grew up in Lunza village in Butere, Kakamega County. In a past interview with Capital FM, he revealed that his parents were business people and so automatically passed the mantle to him. However, Mwale recently stated that his parents passed on when he was still young.
In an interview on Capital FM in 2009, the business mogul stated that he was 33 years old. This means he was born in 1976 and is currently 45 years old.
Mwale went to a local primary school in Lunza village and later joined Mukumu Boys Secondary School before joining college to pursue a diploma in telecommunications engineering. According to him, technology has a wider market than any other professional career.
“I knew by getting that (technology) I can compete with any person in the world. You know being a dentist or a doctor is good but I knew being a doctor in Kenya would limit me to only the environment and diseases in Kenya. However, being a telecommunications engineer, I would be global; I would be able to access resources globally,” he said.
He later joined the Kenyan Airforce majoring in technology research and internet infrastructure. It is however alleged that he was embroiled in a tussle with some individuals over intellectual property issues which forced him to flee the country.
While in the US, he studied electrical engineering at Columbia University.
New York City Asylum
Mwale first settled in Uganda but was paranoid over his security, which forced him to escape to Zimbabwe before flying to the US in 2001. For the first year, Mwale who had a burning ambition to make a breakthrough in technology faced a tough life and it downed on him that achieving his desires would be a steep slippery climb.
He settled in a homeless shelter that was a reserve for low class people as he sought to be granted asylum. His laptop, a priceless gem that contained bulky research data was sadly stolen. The unflinching Mwale was forced to utilize the public library even though he was strictly confined to use the computers for a maximum of 30 minutes.
His troubled life was further pricked by the huge culture shock that he experienced – including different language, climate and food.
“Homeless shelter is halfway off the people coming from jail; you meet people that are not mainstream people in the society, but my focus was to work on my technology – the environment wasn’t very important,” Mwale revealed in a recent interview on YouTube.
Launch of SBA Technology
Mwale later managed to join Columbia University to study electrical engineering even though his main focus was to use this opportunity to create intricate connections. He was eventually successful and launched SBA Technology, a company which he was the president and head of strategy.
The company pioneered wave-based biometric system and was located in New York, an unusual locality for a technology firm. Through this company, Mwale was able to generate a whooping 2 million US dollars and hired engineers across the globe. The company had 60 workers by 2003 and among the first reputable clients that procured its services was the Bank of New York.
In 2004, SBA’s investment got a huge boost that would skyrocket it to unprecedented levels when a legislation for two factor authentication was passed and later effected in 2006. The biometrics investment paid off handsomely and he ploughed the funds into the Mwale Medical and Technology City investment.
The Mwale Medical and Technology City
The 45 year old founded the Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) that is based in Butere, Kakamega county. According to Mwale, he spent USD4 million to conduct a feasibility study between 2007 and 2012. Initially, the investment was to be based around Nairobi metropolitan counties but through research, they realized there would be a lot of hurdles concerning land and it was thought Nairobi wasn’t strategically located for the wider East African market.
MMTC is composed of 5 districts: Plaza district that has a mall and the Hampton’s hospital, golf course district, Great district that is home to upscale people, airport and industrial district that boasts of a 10 mega watts solar power plant and a ksh 28 billion investment in a data centre.
The Hampton’s Hospital which is a 5000 bed facility was set up to loosen the burden of Kenyans and East Africans from traveling to India for medical attention. Due to studies conducted, the idea behind setting up the hospital was to tap into the billions that was spent towards abroad treatments by offering an alternative and cheaper solution.Currently, the hospital has created at least 5000 jobs and according to Mwale the number of employees by the end of 2022 would be 20000.
Mumias Sugar Bidding
In a move to resuscitate Mumias Sugar Company which is currently under receivership, a firm linked to Mwale is reported to have made the highest bid among 8 interested investors. According to Business Daily, Tumaz & Tumaz company is reported to have made a ksh 27.6 Billion for a period of 25 years.