By Allan Olingo
Danston Omari may pass as any ordinary advocate. But at 48 years of age, he is less than a year old in practice having been admitted to the bar late last year.
His has been a journey of tribulations that took him 35 years to conquer.
“I had always had an ambition to become a lawyer since 1976 while in primary school. We were falsely accused of having vandalised a neighbour’s vehicle. I was so infuriated because no one listened to us,” says Omari recalling how the seed was sowed.
“When I sat for my exams, I didn’t perform well so I had to go to a private secondary school in Ruiru. I did my ‘O’ levels and scored a division three. This could not take me to A levels,” he offers.
Omari says his cousin, then a lands office, wanted to take him to India.
“My mind was set. I wanted to do law within Kenya. After talking to my eldest brother, I went back to Form Three in Kiabonyoru Secondary School. I scored a Division Two in my O levels and was admitted to Kangema High School for my ‘A’ levels. Unfortunately I never got to report because I did not get the admission letter.”
In 1985, Omari had no choice but report to a private school. “When it came to selecting the degree courses, I chose law in all the entries despite protests from the school’s principal,” says Omari.
But Omari says the principal and his guardian conspired to change his entries to Bachelor of Education degree. They believed that from the school’s performance history, no one had ever been admitted to study law.
“When the result were out, the cutoff point was 13 points. I had scored 15 points,” recalls Omari proudly.
Omari was now confident that he would study law because he had qualified. But a surprise awaited him. His letter of offer indicated that he had been selected to study Bachelor of Education.