By Prudence Minayo
Jared Otieno, popularly known as Jaro Soja, is known to many as Gor Mahia’s number one fan. He feels so strongly for the team that even his house and motorbike are coloured green and have Gor Mahia’s insignia written all over them. His love for the team changed his life when he met the president of Kenya, going from just a fan to an employed citizen with a decent job.
The Head of State offered him a job with Sports Stadia Management board- which is currently Sports Kenya.
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He comes from Gem, Siaya county.
In 2014, he was among the K’ogalo procession that met ex-president Uhuru Kenyatta and his life was never the same again.
“Since meeting president Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi on November 24- after Gor was crowned Kenya Premier League Champions- good fortune has been my portion. He opened a myriad of opportunities for me. I believe it is God who sent me to meet and interact with the Head of State,” he said.
In the meeting, he sang the anthem of Gor Mahia for the President and presented him with the club’s no.1 Jersey.
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The president gave instructions that he be employed at Sports Kenya. Later, he was able to build a two bedroomed stone house in Gem, Siaya county.
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Jaro Soldier later declined the job offer from the President saying it would distract him from supporting his team. He told the media that juggling between cheering Gor and attending office work will not be possible.
He asked Uwezo Fund Nick Odhiambo to assist him start a business instead.
He owns an embroidery business that does quite well. They knit sweaters, overalls, school uniforms and other types of clothes.
Living in Kayole
Before he was noticed by the President, the K’ogalo Defence Forces general used to live in Soweto, Kayole. He credited the president for this amazing accomplishment adding that his life was changed from that of a mere fan of Gor Mahia to someone with a decent life.
His house is painted green and features the Kenyan and Gor Mahia flag at the front.
In a traditional ceremony on Sunday, 17th July 2016, he married his long time girlfriend Emma Owaga.
His wife was born in Ndhiwa, Homa Bay county. She met Jaro in March 2014 at Nyayo National Stadium where Gor Mahia was playing Esperance Sportive de Tunis from Tunisia.
She had gone to buy yoghurt during half time when she jumped into Jaro on the staircase. He asked for her number which she gave. In the evening, he called asking her out. Emma was working as a customer care at Meridian Medical Center at Capital Center. The two became inseparable since then and made it official in 2017.
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