I am the third son of the late Pascal Ochieng Odondi (R.I.P) and Ruth Auma Ochieng.
I wrote my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in Garissa Academy – a primary school based in Garissa county, located in the Northeastern parts of Kenya back in 2004 and later joined Lenana School, located in Kenya’s capital Nairobi in 2005 where I wrote my Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2008. After Lenana School, I went on to study Computer Science at Kenya’s Moi University main campus Eldoret.
As a Web Developer, I am fully able to build both front end and back end functionalities of websites. I am able to build custom websites and web applications and also use Content Management Systems (WordPress) to come up with professional, clean and simple websites. I can deploy websites into Production Servers using FTP clients such as FileZilla or manually via the Control Panel.
I am familiar with Adobe Photoshop which I can comfortably use to design websites. I can use Bootstrap to build fully responsive websites and also use CSS3 media queries to target different device resolutions to ensure my websites adapt to all device screen sizes in the market. I can use Git (Both Gitbucket and Github) repository commands to work on web systems with a team, and also use MVC for best development practices.
My skills in Computer Science have also equipped me with the ability to use and operate the different software used in most organizations and industries. I am an expert in installing and configuring computer hardware, operating systems and applications. More so, I am fully able to monitor and maintain computer systems and networks and provide support including procedural documentation of relevant reports. I am easy going by nature and able to organize and maintain various IT files.
Political and religious views
The incentive structure of democracy has been revealed as problematic: too many promises, too lightly made. The major challenge to democracy in my country Kenya in particular, is not the prevalence of ethnic diversity, but the use of identity politics to promote narrow tribal interests – tribalism. In the absence of efforts to build genuine political parties that compete on the basis of ideas, Kenya has reverted to tribal identities as foundations for political competition.
My beloved country is made up of 42 tribes, which interestingly unite when tragedies strike. Floods, hunger, terrorist attacks and death unite us. This unity gets discarded when politics come in. Tribal politics have single-highhandedly managed to make university professors think and have the same points of view as illiterate herdsmen; it makes them take an ostrich approach and delve into moral absolutism – for them at that particular time, when a politician doesn’t belong to the ethnic group as them, he/she is bad. Everything about that particular politician isn’t acceptable; he/she is not socially fit, he/she is not “theirs.”
I just can’t stand moral absolutism. You know, there’s always that guy who wants to point out that Martin Luther King cheated on his wife – as if he obviously couldn’t have been a great person if he did something like that. Or someone will bring out an inspirational quote and get you to agree, then inform you that Hitler said it – as if a good thought couldn’t possibly come from Hitler. Moral absolutism keeps us from learning from the past. It’s easy to say, “Hitler was a demon. Nazis were all bad people.” It’s however hard to say, “Is that humanity? Is that me?”
As citizens, we practice reductive thinking when we only consider the aspects of people for which they’re most well known. We should realize that as humans, people are capable of doing the opposite as well, like all of us. This by the way does not mean we excuse the evil and ignore the positive. It just means we see the total human capacity available in all of us. The world isn’t split into good people and evil ones. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on, that’s what we really are.
However, tribal leaders are cunning and calculating. They are quick to dress in the latest fashion and co-opt emerging trends to preserve their identities. They buy influence and create convenient alliances, shopping for international support in power centers such as London, Paris, and Washington DC. Their sole mission is self-preservation, with the side effect of subverting democratic evolution. For them tribal politics is a zero-sum game, so they are prone to using hate speech and inciting violence – this completely makes me shy off politics.
Our politicians exploit tribal loyalty to advance personal gain, parochial interests, patronage, and cronyism – that is a reality. They fail to understand the fact that tribes are not built on democratic ideas but thrive on zero-sum competition. As a result, they are inimical to democratic advancement. In essence, tribal practices are occupying a vacuum created by lack of strong democratic institutions. Tribal interests have played a major role in armed conflict in my country before, an example being the 2007 post election violence which plunged it into bloodshed and turned ethnic communities against each other.
Our government must restore trust in the democratic process just as they are trying to navigate a path through the insecurity menace. To succeed, it will need more than charismatic cheerleaders who have mastered the art of instant gratification. At this point, Kenya needs politicians who are prepared to risk short-term unpopularity for the long-term good. Till then, I steer clear off politics. I remain to be a private citizen.
On religion, it’s no secret that the predominant religious institutions are some of the wealthiest bodies in our world today yet even among all of their collections of global finances and assets, high-stakes morals and their claim to be the world’s path to salvation, the religious institutions have failed to help solve the poverty pandemic worldwide. This is something they surely have the finances to, at the very least, drastically reduce. Ironically enough, many of the developing nations of people are enveloped in the lure of organized religion – following the teachings ever so diligently without drawing a connection to the fact that these religious institutions have the means to help, but simply are not.
Religion is like a penis – it’s something very normal for a man to have and take pride in; but when someone takes it out and dangles it on my face, then we have a problem. I am not a religious man, but very spiritual. I believe God does not want religious peanuts, but spiritual fruits.
There’s something so unique and special about the bonds humans forge over laughter and smiles, as well as those shared over tears and during moments of adversity when communities unite to overcome sorrow. However, if you’re more of an introvert like me, those human connections feel a bit tougher to come by. I’d rather listen than talk, ask questions than rattle off answers. It takes some real courage for me to enter a social setting that I’m unfamiliar with, or especially a social scene where I don’t know anybody else beforehand.
During my late teens, I struggled with the fact that I had no social life – no friends to party with and no girlfriend to snuggle up to. There were days I hated those introverted character traits of mine. All I wanted to do was just ignore my personality and become an extrovert. I have however trained myself to accept who I am and consequently found a happy balance between the two personality types (introvert and extrovert) and become able to communicate with the rest of the world effectively.
There has always been this horrible connotation placed on the word introvert; just as in educational institutions, everyone uses the term as a put-down, simply because they don’t understand. They don’t understand why I wouldn’t want to be the center of attention, or why I wouldn’t say every thought that comes to my head. They don’t understand why I’d rather stay home than spend a night out with people who don’t fulfill me. They don’t understand why I pick and choose so carefully who I let into my small world. People have tried to define it, diagnose it and label it, coming up with medical terminology, symptoms and definitions that are supposed to categorize people like me.
In Carl Jung’s 1971 Theory of psychological types, he categorizes introverts as happy alone, with rich imagination and artistic tendencies. They often stand “aloof” from society and are, thus, misunderstood. Jung defines them as people who place importance on their subjective view of the world and make decisions based on internally-established beliefs.
I am withdrawn because I am internal. I am reserved because I am pensive. I am quiet because I am listening. We all are different; I would rather stay in my room – with my thoughts, in my world – it doesn’t mean something is wrong with me. Just because I’d rather be alone doesn’t mean I am problematic; sometimes, just sometimes, it means I don’t like you. I focus on the meaning of events rather than the social surface. I tend to work in a more considered way.