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“I joined Maranda High School with my sister’s worn-out shoes,” MP narrates poverty-stricken childhood

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In Summary
  • “Even my sister’s, Senator Elizabeth Ongoro, education was funded by a Catholic catechist. For me, it took the intervention of relatives to access education,” the ODM MP says.
  • Because of the injustices meted on his father, the young, poverty-stricken but brilliant boy made his mind that he will aspire to be a lawyer, to champion for the rights of helpless Kenyans.

Born on 1st February 1971 in a remote village in Kisumu County, nobody would have foreseen Otiende Amollo will leave to be one of the top lawyers in the country.

The now Rarieda MP was born and bred in Chianda village, East Uyoma, from a poor family. His dad was only a casual worker who earned a paltry KSh500 per month.

Amollo narrates to TV47 how he grew up in a harsh environment, not knowing when his next meal will come.

Born from a family of ten children, his dad was not able to cater to their education.

“Even my sister’s, Senator Elizabeth Ongoro, education was funded by a Catholic catechist. For me, it took the intervention of relatives to access education,” the ODM MP says.

But it was in Class 7 at Chianda Primary School that Amollo defined his life. As a result of championing for the rights of fellow casual workers at Maseno University, Otiende Amollo’s dad was dismissed from work, to pile more misery to a family that was already living hand to mouth.

Because of the injustices meted on his father, the young, poverty-stricken but brilliant boy made his mind that he will aspire to be a lawyer, to champion for the rights of helpless Kenyans.

It was in the same class when Amollo decided to quit school and try to fend for his family through fishing. He had learnt the economic activity through apprenticeship from the dad.

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With the convincing of his aunt, Amollo who hails from the Katweng’a clan would resume school and pass with flying colours to sum up primary education.

The hustle of joining Maranda High School in 1986

Joining Maranda High School was not a walk in the park for Amollo. He had no school fees, no shoes, no school uniform. He had literally nothing.

“I remember when I was joining Maranda, I had no shoes, so I took my sister’s [Senator Elizabeth Ongoro] worn-out platform shoes. My mother then became creative to convert one of my sisters’ Pink dungaree into a pair of socks. For trousers, I took my elder brother’s tattered cloth,” narrates the MP amid laughter.

Even after struggling to secure the ‘valuable’ items, the elephant in the room still remained how he was going to raise school fees at Maranda. With blind faith, however, Amollo and his dad embarked on a gruesome journey to school, not knowing if they will be turned away at the gate.

“My dad and I walked all the way from Chianda to Bondo [some 20 kilometres]. It was a grueling journey but worth it. Then from Bondo, we trekked to Maranda High School, some 5 kilometres.”

The school administration at the time was merciful for Amollo, they admitted him with zero school fees with the promise that the family would settle as he progresses with education. His life turned over a new leaf that day.

Family

Amollo is married to Linet Ohanya Amollo from Alego Usonga. Together they are blessed with six childre.

The first-born son is a lawyer, second-born daughter graduated from law school in December last year. The MP’s third child is a Form Two girl.

Amollo’s other three children are triplets, two daughters and a boy.

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