Meet Nicola

Full name: Nicola Stenico

Age: 28

From: Perugia in Italy

Studied: Mechanical Engineering

Job: OffGridBox Country Manager – the only full time employee of OffGridBox to be based in Rwanda, though I’m in Tanzania to deliver a number of projects currently.

Tell me, how did you end up working in Africa?
I moved to Rwanda to work with a local company constructing hydro power plants. But the conditions weren’t great so I only stayed for 4 months (I was supposed to be doing a totally different job). I heard about OffGridBox while I was already in Rwanda when Davide the founder called me to tell me about a new position that was opening up. I have also worked in Tanzania constructing mini (electricity) grids and attended training on microgrids at the microgrid academy in Nairobi.

I studied for a Master of Science degree in New Zealand, developing systems to detect leakage in water pipelines. At that time I also joined Engineers without Borders and joined a workshop in a Maori community and it inspired me to work in developing countries. In preparation, I studied a course on engineering in developing countries for one month in Honduras. 

What are your hobbies?
I’m a musician – I play the guitar, harmonica, weissenborn guitar. I’ve always played basketball. I was a boy scout. I love mountain biking and I biked around Kilimanjaro for 7 days. I love hanging out with friends and I miss them, but I believe that what we are doing here is so big that it’s worth it.

What is your favourite colour?
Emerald green.

What is your favourite food?
Pasta alla Norcina – it’s pasta with white wine, sausage, pecorino romano cheese and truffles.

What is your favourite type of music?
I like electro acoustic and jazz blues.

What is your favourite book?
The one I’m reading now by Kapuscinski called The Shadow of the Sun (though it’s literally called Ebony in Hebrew, its original language) – it’s a travel memoir of the author’s 30 years in various African countries.

What is your favourite animal?
Maybe a cheetah, though I’ve still not seen one in Serengeti.

I joined Engineers without Borders and joined a workshop in a Maori community and it inspired me to work in developing countries. In preparation, I studied a course on engineering in developing countries for one month in Honduras.”

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you were older?
I wanted to be an NBA basketball player! Then I thought, let me try engineering, it sounds interesting, and it’s only after university that you know whether you like the subject or not.

Who has been an inspiration in your life?
Micheal Jordan because it’s a must. As a sportsman, he demonstrates a lot of important things in life. Keep going, don’t give up. Seeing a famous person live out this is inspiring.

The John Butler Trio, an Australian rock band.

Particularly my brothers; they are both very different and I fit somehow between them.

My whole family really, my father, mother, grandfather and grandmother. And my scout chief.

I am inspired by the trust that they put in other people. They hold strong values and they can’t be shaken.

What was your favourite subject at school?
Physics.

What alternative career might you have followed?
A musician – but I thank god I’m an engineer!

What is your coolest achievement?
I think my coolest achievement is to be a fully graduated engineer with international experience dealing with tough projects in Africa.

What is an interesting fact about yourself?
When I was a child, I had a problem and was getting stuck with my mind running away and I would just be completely zoned out. It led to some crazy things like ending up cycling down the wrong side of the road! It’s lucky I grew out of it but friends of mine still joke that I have it because my mind wanders sometimes.

REcent posts…

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.