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HomebioLedama Olekina Biography, Education, Career, Politics, Activism, Philanthropy & Legalisation of Marijuana

Ledama Olekina Biography, Education, Career, Politics, Activism, Philanthropy & Legalisation of Marijuana

Ledama Olekina is a Kenyan politician and activist. He is the incumbent Narok County Senator.

He was elected to the upper August House on an ODM Party ticket during the August 8, 2017 general election.

A dynamic and persuasive communicator, the legislator is a vocal advocate for the rights of ordinary Kenyans. He represents a young crop of lawmakers who have made it their priority to champion for the rights of the youths in parliament.

Ledama declared his intentions to become Narok County’s governor in 2022.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Background

He was born on November 11, 1974 in Oloombokishi, a small village near Narok Town.

He is the son of Meiteganyu OleNchoshoi and Siminta Enole Torome. His maternal grandfather James Ole Torome fought in the 1st and 2nd World War and worked as an engineer for the British colonial government.

The Senator was raised by his parents and his grandfather, with whom he spent most of his school holidays taking care of the family cows and goats.

Education

Ledama attended Olesankale Primary School and later joined Narok High School for his secondary education.

He attended college in the US, where he earned joint Bachelor degrees in Political Science and Communications at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

Career

After graduating High School in 1993, Ledama worked briefly as an assistant producer for Reuters, African Journal, a weekly news and current affairs TV programme based in Nairobi.

While a student at the University of Massachusetts, Ledama travelled to London during the summer vacations. There, his lifetime mentor and adopted Welsh father, Gerrard Williams, helped him find jobs as a researcher working for Diverse Productions, Educational Television Network and European Business News in London.

He returned to Kenya in 2000 and ventured into activism and politics.

File image of Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina. |Photo| Courtesy|

Activism

While a student in the US, Ledama became the the first Kenyan-Maasai to ever walk across the United States of America in a bid to raise awareness on the need for quality education.

He walked from Durango, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona, a distance of over 565 miles (909 Kilometers) dressed in his traditional Maasai clothes.

His second walk was from Boston, Massachusetts to Chicago, Illinois, a distance of 1,765 miles (2826 kilometres). Ledama Olekina walked up to 80 kilometres a day.

Upon his return to Kenya, he advocated for the education of the Maa girlchild and an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) among his community.

He has been on the forefront, championing for the eviction of communities from the Mau Forest, and advocating for its protection and preservation.

Philanthropy

Ledama founded Maasai Education Discovery(MED) in 2001. It is a non-profit organisation that advocates for the education of girls.

Through the foundation, he offers scholarship programs for girls to attend primary schools, secondary schools and colleges.

To date, the program accommodates over 1500 students annually.

He set up a resource centre in Narok where MED is headquartered. It has a library, a community college, business center and a cultural art center.

In the year 2002, Ledama computerized over 15 schools in Narok and Kajiado and he brought internet in Narok. In 2006, he installed the first wireless network in Narok.

Legalisation of Marijuana

Ledama has been a vocal advocate for the government to legalise the use of Marijuana in the Kenya.

In 2020, he shared a video clip in which he made his views known while standing in the middle of a marijuana plantation in Lithuania.

He urged the government to legalise Marijuana for medicinal purpose as is the case in some countries.

“Why is it that we in Kenya are still stuck with the old way of saying that this is an illegal drug… this is crazy… it really smell like weed. I might get out of here, high,” he jokingly says in the video.

“If this is good to reduce the pain in cancer patients, why don’t you legalise it? What is so bad about it? We only live once. If weed is good, then let’s legalise it. If it’s bad then let’s not allow other people in the world to plant it,” Ledama Olekina stated.