How East Africa’s premier Information security conference- AfricaHackon started

This is a brief story of how AfricaHackOn was formed –  East Africa’s premier technical computer security collective which brings together the individual talents of the best and brightest security professionals in the region. Here is the story as told by one of the founders, Bright Gameli Mawudor.

The official AfricaHackon logo


The Beginning

AfricaHackOn started with a simple conversation between two information security engineers – Bright Gameli Mawudor and Lewis Ng’ang’a. They met online on Facebook where they realised their common interest in Cyber Security. They were concerned with how Kenya lacked awareness in the field and the fact that the industry still remained in the shadows.

On 30th September, 2013, they came up with an idea to emulate hacker conferences that happen around the world. These include DEFCON, BLACKHAT, DERBYCON, HACK MIAMI and several others. The journey was going to be long with a lot of work to be done.

Kenya had been hosting many conferences related to cyber security but always either purely theoretical or vendor driven. This led to many techies in information security having a distaste for them.

TheCON, was the first name that was decided on. They called on Tyrus Kamau, a well known and experienced information security expert who later became the group’s president. A decision was made to form a dedicated team to spear head the realisation of the conference. To make it unique to the African region, the name AfricaHackOn was decided on. From the very beginning, the vision was to have a conference with real live demonstrations, to educate the community without getting lost in vendor specific agendas, and to finally grow the industry by engaging all parties in the country and Africa as a whole.

The team 

The original team had the following members:

  • Munir Njiru
  • Tyrus Kamau
  • Ruth Efrain
  • Lesiah Ng’an’ga
  • Ibrahim Gathungu
  • Samuel Kihahu
  • George Wahome
  • Christian Kisutsa
  • Paula Musuva
  • Bright Gameli Mawudor
  • John Gichuki
  • Samuel Mwai
  • Fredrick Wahome
  • Eliud Mwangi
  • Irene Njoroge
  • Nyoike Thuo

The team has grown and changed over time, the current members are now:

  • Munir Njiru ~ Alienwithin
  • Tyrus Kamau ~ Ty
  • Gabriel Mathenge ~ Wamato
  • Lewis Ng’an’ga ~ Gav Lesiah
  • Ibrahim Gathungu ~ Dexter
  • Samuel Kihahu ~ ^caret
  • George Wahome ~ Cabl3
  • Christian Kisutsa ~ localhost
  • Chrispus Kamau ~ ck
  • Samuel Mwai ~ K@sper
  • Nyoike Thuo ~ 0x7678
  • Bright Gameli Mawudor ~ ze3D
  • Dennis Banga
  • John Ombagi ~ Jay
  • Henry Karanja ~ H
  • Irene Njoroge
  • Michael Maigwa ~ Mich01
  • Peter Ouma ~ hackitect
  • Sylvia Munyisia
  • Valentio Shimanyi

The first conference was held on 28th February, 2014 at PwC Tower Westlands. The second conference will be held on 31st July, 2015 at The iHub.

We will be telling you more about AfricaHackOn and also how information security plays a role in your everyday life in the coming weeks. We aim to do this by sharing our vision and regularly providing you with educative posts and guides.

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