By Prudence Minayo
Paul Ongili, popularly known to many as Babu Owino, is a Kenyan politician and former chairman of the University of Nairobi students’ leaders body, SONU. Many know him as an outspoken personality who gives his views on a wide range of topical issues without mincing his words. Babu is loved and hated almost in equal measure by Kenyans. There are those who feel he is drunk with power while others feel he is just doing and saying what he should.
The politician is also not new to controversy. His views and actions have sometimes landed him into trouble but that is just who he is. In an earlier interview with Betty Kyallo, he said sometimes when he goes out he does not know where he will end up because of antics.
Babu Owino was born on 10th October 1989. He was not born with a silver spoon but in an impoverished background and spent his childhood and youth in Nyalenda slums.
Mr. Owino is probably one of the most educated people in the country. In order to afford to educate himself, Ongili had to help his mother sell chang’aa (illegal traditional liquor) during his earlier years.
He attended Central Primary School in Kisumu and did his class eight in 2001. He scored 403/500 marks and joined Kisumu boys High School in 2002. In 2005, he sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and got an A minus of 78 points. Egerton University called him for a Business Management Degree but that was not his passion.
In 2007, he went to Nairobi for the first time and applied for a scholarship. He got a scholarship to Millennium School in Westlands, Nairobi where he did his A levels and got a distinction.
In October 2008, he joined the University of Nairobi (UoN) to pursue a degree in Actuarial Science and graduated in 2012 with a First Class Honor.
In 2013, he enrolled for a Master’s Degree in Actuarial Science at the University of Nairobi. The following year, he joined the UoN School of Law in Parklands and pursued a law degree which he completed in 2017.
In total, he has two Bachelor’s Degrees, one Master’s Degree and is pursuing another Master’s degree. He also has six diplomas:
- Diploma in Pure Maths
- Diploma in Mechanics
- Diploma in Law
- Diploma in Accounting
- Diploma in Chemistry
- Diploma in Statistics
Babu Owino is married to Fridah Muthoni Owino and they have two children. He has described his wife as a woman without an equal with a number of positive attributes including beauty and intelligence.
Throughout his life, Babu was always a leader. He was the head boy in Primary School, prefect throughout high school and students head at Millennium Academy.
In 2011, he became the SONU chairman. After graduating in 2012, he contested for the Westlands Member of Parliament seat but did not make it past the nomination. After going back to UoN in 2013, he became the SONU Chairman for four years.
In 2017, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Embakasi East under the ODM ticket and resigned as chairman of SONU. According to him, he has done a lot for Embakasi East including building schools and classes and working to ensure that water problems in the area become a thing of the past. In an interview on Upclose with Betty Kyallo, he could be seen interacting very well with the people of his constituency including providing them with free maize flour and even eating Mutura with them as he speaks with them in a friendly manner.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, he said he has been working to provide food for the members of his constituency and has also provided free hand sanitizers for them. He has also done some online Chemistry lessons to help learners catch up with their work.
The MP has been in a number of controversies but the most recent and the one most Kenyans are talking about involves the shooting of DJ Evolve in a club in Nairobi. It is alleged that he shot DJ Evolve and there is a video showing the events of that night. At one point he was arrested for the crime but was released. In an interview with K24’s Anne Kiguta he said the matter was sub judice and cannot be talked about outside court. In an interview with Jalas, he said that he was covering the hospital bills and that DJ Evolve was a personal friend and nothing can come between them. He also said there was no saint without a past and no one should judge him and he will not take it lightly.
The exclusive report by NTV paints him as the responsible party in the DJ’s demise. In the damning report, the DJ had improved but was still paralyzed and could not talk properly. He threatened to sue NTV after the expose. A section of Kenyans are angered with DJ Evolve’s situation and feel the MP should be held responsible for his actions.
NTV Exclusive with DJ Evolve
Interview with Jalang’o on Bonga na Jalas
K24’s Upclose on the Weekend with Betty