From grass to grace is, in a nutshell, how one would describe Babu Owino ’s journey. He is the current legislator for Embakasi East.
Here is the politician story as told by WoK.
Paul Ongili, alias Babu Owino, was Born in October 1989. He was born in the Nyalenda slums of Kisumu, where he spent most of his childhood.
Contrary to popular belief, ‘Babu Owino’ is Ongili’s real name, as enshrined on his official identification documents. Babu was a nickname from his mother and childhood friends, which stuck throughout his life.
Due to his humble background, Babu became an entrepreneur at an early age. His mother introduced him to the chang’aa brewing business, which was his source of school fees.
Sadly, his father passed away while he was in class three. His mother, who ailed frequently, could hardly support the family. Therefore, Babu became the default breadwinner for his family.
The situation at home was so dire that he feared going for his KCPE results, as there were no fees for his high school education. However, the local chief secured him a spot at Kisumu Boys’ and dissuaded him from worrying about school fees.
Due to his chang’aa business, Babu’s brushes with the law started at an early age. He recounts being arrested a day before he sat for his KCSE biology practicals.
He was taken to Kisumu central police station. However, the OCS mercifully released him. He sat for his KCSE in his home clothes.
Regarding academic accolades, Babu describes himself as ‘a lethal brain’. According to him, he holds six diplomas, two undergraduate degrees, and two master’s degrees.
His academic journey started at Central Primary School in Kisumu, where he sat for his KCPE in 2001 and scored 403 out of 500 marks.
He then joined Kisumu Boys’ High School, where he sat for his KCSE in 2005. He scored an A minus of 78 out of 84 points. He was so sharp that his teachers allowed him to teach accounting, economics, and mathematics to his fellow students.
Owino’s ambition was to become a lawyer. Consequently, when called to Egerton to do a course in Business Management, he declined.
Instead, he enrolled at the Millenium Academy for his A levels under the Cambridge system. He did his form 5 and 6, scoring a distinction, the equivalent of an A or first-class honors.
During his A levels, Babu pursued diplomas in law, accounting, pure mathematics, chemistry, statistics, and mechanics.
He then joined the University of Nairobi in 2008 to pursue a degree in actuarial science, graduating in 2012 with first-class honors. In 2014, Babu enrolled for a law degree at the UON, which he completed in 2017.
Babu has been a leader throughout most of his life, and he considers himself a God-chosen leader. From his stellar academic performance to being the breadwinner of his family, these factors prepared him for his future political career.
His leadership journey began when he was elected head boy in primary school. He was also a prefect throughout his tenure at Kisumu Boys. In 2007, he was elected student leader at Millenium Academy while doing his A levels.
In 2011, he was elected Student leader at the University of Nairobi, a role he held for almost a decade. After completing his first degree at the UoN, Babu contested for the Westlands MP seat, which he lost to Tim Wanyonyi. After losing, Babu enrolled for a master’s in Actuarial science at the University of Nairobi. This allowed him to vie for a second term as student leader.
In 2017, Babu Owino contested for and won the Embakasi East member of parliament seat, which he retained in the 2022 elections. He hopes to vie for the Nairobi County gubernatorial seat in 2027 and later become president of Kenya.
Babu is known as a diehard supporter of Raila Odinga, whom he considers his greatest political mentor.