On mother’s day, the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth posted his mother posting the hashtags, “#DreamsOfOurMothers, #HappyMothersDay and #FromKibraWithLove.”

In another post, Ken wrote, “#nanikamama?”

His mother, Angeline made it possible for him to be the man he became. After their father abandoned them, Ken’s mother doubled down and purposed to ensure that her six children had the best she could give them.

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The late Ken Okoth as a baby

‘God, why him! We are orphans,’ Kibra residents mourn Ken Okoth

She had dreams for her children. The Kibra MP, Ken actualised them beyond her wildest imagination.

Ken in a past interview said, “My mum sold anything from clothes to paraffin and tomatoes in Kibra to bring up six children. I remember my days at Olympic Primary School in worn-out Sandak shoes and patched uniform. My sweater had holes in it.”

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Ken Okoth as a teenager

He lived with his mother, Angeline, five siblings and other family members in a 12-by-12-foot, one-room house, before earning scholarships to boarding school, college and, ultimately, Georgetown’s graduate school.

He received a scholarship from Save the Children to attend boarding school in Nairobi and wanted to attend college after high school, but couldn’t afford the local university.

From a watchman to MP: All about Kibra MP Ken Okoth

He decided to sell papers in the morning to fund German language classes in the afternoon, with the goal of becoming a certified tour bus driver for German-speaking tourists.

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Kibra MP with a friend back in the day at Starehe Boys

Plans changed, however, when he delivered papers to New York’s St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program office in Nairobi and learned of a scholarship for Kenyan students.

He won the scholarship, became a German major, studied in Europe for three semesters – and never stopped learning.
After college, Ken was accepted to Georgetown’s BMW Center for German and European Studies but again couldn’t afford the tuition. When the dean’s office found a way to offer him a full scholarship,
“I knew I would always be grateful to Georgetown for giving me this incredible opportunity,” he says.
“Getting a great all-around education in history and international relations at the School of Foreign Service would prepare me for any career I had dreamed of.”

 

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Reflecting his deep dedication, Ken can talk endlessly about his foundation and the children it serves.

“So many kids in Kibera don’t have someone representing them and advocating for them,” he says.

“If I shut up, no one will hear their stories, so I never shut up. I’m constantly telling their stories and being their ambassadors. It means a lot to me to use the privilege of my St. Lawrence and Georgetown education to serve others.”

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Check out photos of Ken and his mom.

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