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This man Oscar Sudi: From matatu tout to Mheshimiwa

MP Oscar Sudi took to driving at the age of 18, saved up some money and started farming to supplement his earnings. [Eliud Kipsang, Standard]

Oscar Kipchumba Sudi has waded through life’s experiences from obscurity into the limelight.

The 41-year-old legislator was born in a poor family, starting off as a herder, graduating to a charcoal and grocery dealer, then a matatu tout and driver before buying his own Public Service Vehicle.

According to past interviews, Sudi, a second-term MP for Kapseret constituency in Uasin Gishu County, was born in 1980 near the Moi University’s main campus in Kesses.

Sudi’s childhood saw him in and out of school due to lack of school fees, and would engage in manual work to make ends meet.

From living in a grass-thatched house, he sprang to popularity and got elected through URP in the 2013 General Election. In an interview with The Nairobian, he described his achievements in life as sheer luck.

Grass-thatched house

“I was born in 1980, my parents were squatters in Moi University area and all we had was a grass-thatched house in the farm of Mzee Kibor arap Talai, who allowed us to stay in his farm but on a temporary basis. I used to sleep in the kitchen with my two brothers,” said Sudi in 2016.

He claims he worked for a Sh800 pay in 1996 with a matatu christened Carlos owned by Barnabas Sawe.

MP Oscar Sudi arrives at Nakuru Central Police Station for a court session, September 2020. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

At the age of 18, he took to driving, saved up some money and started farming to supplement his earnings, cultivating seven acres of maize, he said.

In 2000, he married and moved into his own iron sheet house before buying a matatu, a Peugeot 504. It is then that he made his first trip to Nairobi to buy a TV set and a radio.

Playing pool game

It was during the trip that he noticed people playing pool game. He invested in three tables in Kesses, Cherangany and Mugundoi centres. He borrowed Sh110,000 to invest in the venture.

According to Sudi, the selling of his matatu to buy a saloon car and a pick-up truck gave him insights into the car dealing business.

His fortunes grew and he developed interests in politics.

In 2002, he supported political campaigns of former Eldoret South MP David Koros and later in 2007 Peris Simam, with whom they fell out before dethroning her in 2013.

Oscar Sudi's multi-million home in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County. [Eliud Kipsang, Standard]

In his National Assembly profile, Sudi is listed as having attended Olympic Primary School in from 1997 to 1998 when he sat his KCPE examination.

He is also said to have attended the Highway High School in between 2003 and 2006, where he attained his KCSE.

The profile also says he studied at the Kenya Institute of Management in from 2007 to 2008 for a diploma in business management.

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