His family did not have high social status or much money, but James knew the career he wanted to pursue: a pilot or an engineer.
The aviation bug bit him at a young age and that saw him join Mang’u High School.
“I knew from a young age that I wanted to go to a high school offering aviation studies and there was only one school,” he says.
The CEO and founder of Swift Lab would go on to Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China to study aerospace engineering, majoring in aerospace and aircraft design.
"I knew from a young age that I wanted to go to a high school offering aviation studies and there was only one school."
In 2013, he came back to Kenya to establish Swift Lab, a company dealing in drone design and operations.
“When I was about to graduate, I developed a blended wing body drone and that was my light-bulb moment. I was certain I was not coming home to tarmac but develop the technology,” he says.
True to his words, Swift Lab has been able to hold its own in the market and is among the first five companies to get a remote operating license from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority.
The firm deals in building both software and hardware for aircraft design and drones with a concentration on drones for logistics, especially in agriculture and mapping. Further, the company is in the process of starting mass production of drones for the supply of medicine after inking a deal with Posta Kenya. The project starts next year.
In six months, he plans to launch one-of-a-kind software known as Swift Lab suite, an Artificial Intelligence web-based tool for drone map visualisation.
“The moment Kenya regulated the drone industry, it gave us that push to develop our solutions and try to catch up with the rest of the world,” he says.