Sam Ogendo is my homie. We come from the same neighborhood. I know their place. He knows our place. If I sling a stone with my full might, there’s a very high chance that it might land in their home. I know his siblings and he knows mine. My dad and his dad are buddies. Sometimes when my dad calls, he asks me how “Wuod Ogendo is doing in campus”. Each time I remind him that Sam wuod Ogendo finished campus long ago. He keeps forgetting. I can bet on anything that the next time I go home he will still ask me about Sam. And of course remind me how close he is to the father.
Sam Ogendo and I were in the same primary school. I might have little recollection of that period but there are still some few memories that linger occasionally. I remember him as this boy who was calling the shots around and commanding the masses to his will. I know his aura intimidated even some of the teachers. He was many classes ahead of me at the time. Unlike today, back then we just had occasional chats. I was a silent lone kid and he was the ebullient Sam who everyone knew in school. Those two extremes rarely meet. And of course he was a football star. Being a football star was a great deal back then. It earned you the respect of your peers and adoration from the girls around.
Football was life back then. Of course it still is for Sam. Sam was and is still a respectable footballer in the neighborhood. He is fanatically in love Manchester United. For him, Man U is a religion with a delightful history never seen before in any other team. He sees them as the Rulers of English Football. During holidays, when everyone is at home, we usually gather at some hall to enjoy peaceful weekends of watching The Premier League and telling tales of the past. That’s how kinship is strengthened over there.
At the moment, Sam is on his journey towards becoming an advocate. He has finished the Kenya School of Law and is doing his pupillage. He does many other things too. He was once the president of Nyakach University Students Association. He recently founded the Ogendo Foundation which to me is an idea whose time has come. Sam and I had one of our little many chats from which he agreed to show the world a glimpse of his perspectives on a number of issues.
Hello Sam. We’re in February. What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt on the first month of 2020?
I define myself. I choose who to be. It’s only me who can dust myself off and above all, God’s timing rests on all our intentions and plans.If you had to pick a heading for your life, what phrase would you go for?
On To The Next. The phrase keeps me going despite the few challenges.What fears do you have at age 25?
I’d say trusting anyone with my plans. I fear betrayal. Most times I just soldier alone because of this.Have you been betrayed in recent times?
Yes (mild laughter).How does that feel like?
The worst feeling ever.We went to the same primary school remember? Do you have any recollection of my life as a kid there?
Yeah. Of course I do. You were that silent kid who’d smile at anything and everything.What would you tell to your younger primary school self if you had the chance?
Stop being cheeky. Stop making a lot of noise in class. Don’t be rude to teachers.
Did you see yourself becoming a lawyer back then?
Yes I did.Do you love it being a fourth born ?
Absolutely. This is my second victory after winning the sperm race mazee. (chuckles)Your love for your sister is something I’ve always admired. How do you think we as brothers should strive to provide the best growth environment possible for our sisters?
Be the best friend that she needs. Be her cheerleader. And at any point encourage her during the low moments. Give her a pat on the back for small victories and remind her that you’re always there to protect if all goes South.Tell me about The Ogendo Foundation. What do you guys do over there?
Well, it’s at the lactating stage. I’m still ironing out some issues to do with compliance. But generally, the foundation strives on improving lives. Education, gender based violence and mentorship programs are some of the core issues that revolve around its conception.What was the inspiration behind its formation?
The idea came after I’d served as the NUSA chairperson. I kept asking myself how I could keep serving and impacting on people’s lives beyond NUSA. The foundation was the answer.Keep up the good work
What goes on in your mind at the end of each day while lying on your bed right before sleep sets in?
I count my wins and losses for the day. I also pray for Man United. Then I ask the Lord for a better tomorrow.Talking of football, where does your love for soccer spring from? How did it all start?
In 2005, while in primary school, I had a desk mate called Frank Njoga. He would tell me stories about Man United. Everything. He had this magazine that seemed to have everything about the team. He profoundly spoke of the team’s greatness. Those were the golden days of George Best and the like of Ruud Van Nistelrooy as well as the great David Beckham. He also kinda flattered me that I played like Rooney. Ever since that period, I fell in love with football and with Man United.That’s quite some story. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Managing my Law firm and coaching some team. I want to enroll for a coaching course. I also know that I’ll be someone’s father. I just don’t who the mother of that person will be. I’ll know very soon though.Do you usually make plans or you just let things unfold in life?
I make plans. I have a plan for my life.What does home mean to you?
Home means Happiness, Peace of mind and love. It’s the first place I always want to be when I’m low, frustrated and drained. Home is the centre of my being. It calms all my nerves.Other than that, I also consider home to be a person. Someone who lights me up. Someone who sees the best in me and corrects me blatantly. That’s my HOME.What keeps you waking up each morning, even on those roughest of days?
The urge of winning. And the idea of one day not telling my daughter/son that “your dad gave up on life or that your dad quit when things got tough”. I always want to strive and soldier on regardless of how challenging life gets.Is love something you want to pursue this year?
I would say yes and no. Wacha ikuje venye itakuja. (Chuckles)Do you have any last words for you reader as we wind up?
Yes.Go right ahead then. They are all ears.
You’re the queen on your chessboard of life. You’re the most powerful and when taken out, the king’s chances of surviving are close to zero. Define and command your chessboard. Above all, trust in the Lord.Thank you Sam.
Pleasure is all mine.