Another crisis is a remark he was told in the 1980s as a primary school student in Siaya that, given the poverty that plagued his family, however much he studied, he wouldn’t amount to much. Dr Ogola is the sixth born of 11 children in a family that operated between Nairobi’s Kibera and Siaya. His father was a catechist while his mother was a nursery school teacher. Hardly was there food at home.
The message that he would not go far in life gave him a push to study hard and the marks he scored in KCPE moved a Dutch priest, Fr Gerald Mooij, to award him a scholarship to St Mary’s School, Yala. He remembers going back home from school with sugar and other products — he was providing for his parents rather than the other way round.
After St Mary’s, he briefly stayed in Mombasa, where he founded a school, but he later joined the seminary. He was at the cusp of becoming a priest when he was expelled on claims of racism.
“I was in a European-founded seminary under the Mill Hill Missionaries, and of course, there were more white than black people. And you know this sibling rivalry among the black people. Somebody told my superior that I hate white people. And of course that was not true. Those were just rivalries happening there. When I was called, I was not given a chance to defend myself. I was told I’m dismissed because I hate white people,” he says.
He hardly hesitates when asked about the date he was kicked out of the seminary: May 5, 2006. By then, he had three undergraduate degrees — in theology, philosophy, sociology, and in urban planning and city policing.
He notes that he does not regret one bit about his stay in the seminary because he came out with the degrees.
Also because one of his elder brothers is a priest, his mother was more welcoming of the idea of him terminating the journey to priesthood because she did not want to “lose two sons to the church”.
“But I remained very faithful to the (Catholic) Church. In our upbringing, church was everything. I owe most of the things to the church,” he says.
Source: Daily Nation Kenya