For John Achola Ouma, 26, life has always been a tale of struggle and triumph over adversity. The first born son in a family of two, he became an orphan in 2003, after his father’s death, a situation that left him and his younger brother in the hands of relatives and well wishers. Ouma attended Lianda Primary School in Awendo, Migori before joining Kanga High School, an institution he only enjoyed for a year before dropping out due to lack of school fees. A year later he joined Manyatta High School where he eventually completed his secondary education, doing his KCSE in 2011. At Manyatta his outstanding performance earned him the Assistant Headboy position while in Form 3 and 4, enabling him to exercise the leadership roles he would later apply in college. From 2012 to 2015 he worked at Ogenya Girls as an untrained teacher, holding the post until he had saved enough money to join college. Eventually he joined Kisumu Polytechnic in 2016 and enrolled into the Civil Engineering class, deferring in 2017, to resume studies this year. “My inspiration to leadership is my uncle Nicholas Koriko who is the Finance CEC in Homa Bay County. I also have a passion for serving the community, especially the vulnerable who suffer hardships like I did earlier in life”.
The ever smiling Ouma has four goals he is determined to achieve within KINAPOSA over the next 12 months. First is to improve communication between the association and the students about projects and initiatives, unlike previous executive offices that kept silent about their activities. Second, he hopes to broaden the revenue sources for KINAPOSA through income generating initiatives such as a student operated canteen and student run tuck-shops that operate from early in the morning to late at night as happens in universities across the country. Third, he wants to coordinate with the administration to secure external accommodation and affordable transportation for students to minimize commuting costs and times. Finally, Ouma wants to forge leadership linkages with student associations in other institutions of higher learning so as to pick ideas that can improve life for poly students. On top of this the chairman hopes to have security improved in and around the institution within his first 100 days in office.
The new chairman’s biggest desire on the job is to leave a tangible legacy that students can see and remember for years to come. “Many of my predecessors never delivered on all or some of their promises. You just can’t see what they did after all those years. I hope to change that”, he declares.