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News > Community > Tonbridge Profiles Felix Saro-Wiwa

Tonbridge Profiles Felix Saro-Wiwa

Felix Saro-Wiwa (PS 10-15) is one of a growing breed of young OT entrepreneurs, with the accolade of being featured in a recent New York Times article.
5 Feb 2024
Written by Tara Biddle
Community

We are delighted to announce that we will be celebrating a member of our community on a regular basis via our Tonbridge Profiles piece. 

Our first Tonbridge Profile features Felix Saro-Wiwa who is head of sustainable growth at ARC Ride, a start up. 

Felix Saro-Wiwa (PS 10-15) is one of a growing breed of young OT entrepreneurs, with the accolade of being featured in a recent New York Times article. He has been helping to spearhead a transportation revolution in Kenya, where, as Head of Sustainable Growth for ARC Ride, a start-up in Nairobi, his target has been the motorcycles which crowd the Nairobi streets, mainly used as taxis. The New York Times reported:

‘At a gas station on the side of a highway near Nairobi, a team from ARC Ride, one of the city’s leading electric boda-boda start-ups, was putting up a shiny new cabinet that opens with a phone app. Put a spent lithium battery into an empty locker, take out a fully charged one from another and you’re good to go for at least 90 km (56 miles) — nearly enough for a full day’s work for the motorcycle-taxi drivers. ARC has installed 72 swap stations in Nairobi, and it has plans to set up over 25 more in the coming months, one for every couple of kilometers on the city’s busiest routes'. Felix has a history in this business. His grandfather, Ken Saro-Wiwa, was a human-rights activist who drew international attention to the social and environmental harms of oil production in his native Nigeria.

The goal is to enable mass electric transport on the streets of African cities, their growth vital to solving problems of air pollution and energy transition.

Felix is fondly remembered at Tonbridge. He was a brilliant athlete playing for the first teams in rugby, cricket and football. He won the Ward Cup for his outstanding contribution to School sport. He was awarded an Honorary Academic Scholarship and after excellent A Levels he studied Liberal Arts at Durham. There was always the sense that he was destined for greater things in the future. He has remained close to Tonbridge and his friends, playing for the OTFC. Following the tragic early death of his brother Suanu (PS 13-18), in 2018, Felix has played in the annual memorial football match to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)

Felix is now moving on to new opportunities, but he writes that ‘it has been an unforgettable journey starting ARC Ride and seeing it grow to the company it is today, with the potential for enormous social and environmental impact in Kenya and beyond’.

 

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