Never too late learn: 78yrs old grandmother start class one to pursue her passion for politics


Mrs Ololo, a 78-year-old widowed grandmother has started primary school so she can begin to make the most of her passion for politics.

She is in Standard One against many odds: At 78 years, she is frail, and within a week, she has already skipped school for two days due to an illness. But her son George Ololo, who attended Obambo as a child, said his mother, who was widowed in 2002, was ‘unstoppable’.

Mariana Ong’ango Ololo turned up unannounced for class at Obambo Primary School in Yenga village, south-west Kenya last month, wearing full uniform and accompanied by her 56-year-old son George.

A week later, once staff had discussed how best to deal with an older pupil, Mrs Ololo walked for two miles from her home in Siaya county to join 86 other Class Onepupils for lessons, reports the Daily Nation.

Mariana Ololo has started school alongside younger pupils in Class One at Obambo primary in Siaya county, Kenya

Mrs Ololo, 78, plays football with her younger classmates at Obambo primary school

Class teacher Beatrice Akinyi helps Mrs Ololo to write her name during a lesson. The grandmother was welcomed to the school once teachers planned how to deal with an elderly pupil.

Mrs Ololo was inspired to get a formal education by the election of 51-year-old Uhuru Kenyatta as Kenya’s president in April and by the digital advances his government plans to introduce.

‘Uhuru Kenyatta is not an old man, but took over as fourth President because he has got an education. That is a clear indicator that a person cannot rank highly in society without an education,’ she told the Daily Nation.

Mrs Ololo said the recent election of President Uhuru Kenyatta showed how important it was to get an education

Mrs Ololo pictured working at her home in Yenga village, Siaya county

‘I normally feel I have not spoken my heart out whenever I speak to visitors that come with my sons. I wish I could speak to them directly,’ she said.

Her five sons finished secondary school, despite her husband Andrewo’s ‘meagre earnings’, with one now studying for a master’s degree in South Africa.

Mr Ololo said his mother has long been interested in politics and has campaigned for aspiring politicians in her area, mobilising support to help former MP Edwin Yinda and former area councillor Adero Kayenga to election victories.

Teacher Beatrice Akiniyi shook hands with Mrs Ololo, who becomes the 87th pupil in her class

‘It wasn’t easy letting her go to school,’ he said. At first we thought it was a joke, but she insisted. We asked her how she would survive in class, for she is a smoker. She promised to let go of tobacco as long as she was in class. So we had no option but to fulfill her wish.’
While most of her peers would be at home during their sunset days, Mrs Ololo is determined to stay in class till the day her dreams come true.

Read more:Sunday Nation

You Might Also Like