Kevin Ochieng Obede: Jobs galore for top unemployed graduate forced to live in Nairobi streets


Kevin Ochieng Obede: Jobs galore for top unemployed graduate forced to live in Nairobi streets
Kevin Ochieng Obede. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

In Summary

  • Soon after his plight was highlighted by Citizen TV on Sunday, State corporations, County Governments and top private companies have largely come out to offer him job opportunities.
  • The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Centum, Naivas Supermarkets, Vivo Energy, Nairobi County Government and the Kenya Forest Services have all opened their doors to Kevin, who ended up homeless in the streets of Nairobi after completing his studies.
  • Other companies also offering Kevin an opportunity to make good use of his academic genius include Jamii Bora Bank, the Kenya Red Cross, UAP Old Mutual, TripleOKLaw Advocates, Actuary Patrick Waweru among others.

The heartbreaking story of Kevin Ochieng Obede, the 24-year-old graduate whose hard work and excellent academic performance seemed to have done little to afford him a decent living, has triggered a massive outpouring of goodwill.

Soon after his plight was highlighted by Citizen TV on Sunday, State corporations, County Governments and top private companies have largely come out to offer him job opportunities.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), Centum, Naivas Supermarkets, Vivo Energy, Nairobi and County Governments and the Kenya Forest Services have all opened their doors to Kevin, who ended up homeless in the streets of Nairobi after completing his studies.

Other companies also offering Kevin an opportunity to make good use of his academic genius include Jamii Bora Bank, the Kenya Red Cross, UAP Old Mutual, TripleOKLaw Advocates, Actuary Patrick Waweru among others.

Audit firm Deloitte, which was among the companies Kevin previously sought a job but was unsuccessful, also seemingly now has a spot for him.

Resolution Health East Africa Ltd and the Kenya Ports Authority are also willing to help the 24-year-old Nyakach-born top academic performer.

When Citizen Digital contacted him on Monday evening, Kevin said he intends to visit every company that has offered him an opportunity, at least to express his gratitude.

He confirmed that several firms had already contacted him and he had already visited some.

Kevin scored straight A’s at Maranda High School before proceeding to the University of Nairobi where he did Actuarial Science and graduated with First Class honors in 2017.

He was not even able to attend his own graduation ceremony because he could not afford the Ksh.4000 fee required.

His entire school fee was paid for by the Higher Educations Loans Board (HELB), a Chinese education loan as well as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) kitty.

“I can’t get round to how I feel about the fact that Obede, index number one in my year at Maranda and who went on to become one of the best Actuarial students at UoN, is in the streets. It’s something else,” said Austin Omondi, one of his former classmates.

Before his story was highlighted by Citizen TV’s Purity Mwambia, Kevin worked alongside parking gangs in the Nairobi CBD washing cars for Ksh.50-100 to earn a living.

He stores his certificates in a cybercafé, hoping one day he will get a job and have a decent life.

His story reveals the ticking time bomb of the unemployed youth who worked hard, scored A’s and their certificates have turned into just a piece of paper.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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