Evans Omondi Jack on Saturday afternoon officially said goodbye to Mukuru slum residents, during his send off party at Ruben Centre, Nairobi County.
Speaking exclusively to Gumzo Mtaani Show the emotional senior citizen had no regrets.
“I was born here in Nairobi 1950. My father was a war veteran who fought in the Second World War and later took on a job as a bus driver at then OTC,” said Omondi adding that life was cheap and fun back then despite the fact that colonialism was still ripe then before independence.
After independence, Kenyans were eager to take on life and use the opportunities available. He remembers Grogon, at the middle of the city where most Kenyans then congregated and were split by then Kenya’s founding father Jomo Kenyatta.
Two groups chose to separate. He recalls one went south and settled around Kariobangi and they called the estate Huruma, because in Kiswahili it meant that the first president had mercy on them.
Omondi led the others north and they settled in an industrial area where they found an old business woman called Gatoto and a European who dealt in coffee known as Ruben. They settled in and so were the names Mukuru kwa Ruben with a small area within known as Gatoto.
“I have been here for a while now, but I have never seen anyone as selfless as Papa Omondi. He has given all and kept nothing. When I was told that he wanted to go back home, I had to do something for him, I will dearly miss him,” said outgoing Ruben Centre’s director Mr. Frack O’Shea.
“There is a lot of history about this place that I have learnt from Omondi since I stepped foot here in 2016. He has basically been a man of the people, a human rights defender and above all a community leader. I am happy to be part of a great team that has benefitted from his wisdom,” said Ruben Fm’s station manager Thomas Odhiambo who also added that Ruben Centre will make Mr. Omondi comfortable in his home, Siaya county.
Ruben Centre and Mukuru community contributed approximately 200 thousand shillings that were pumped into the veteran’s sendoff party kitty.
Papa Omondi will have a new built home in Siaya and a business set up for his income.
Ruben Center as a whole will dearly miss its common six foot, ten inches figure, the special one Papa Omondi.