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Tom Odula: BBC Reporter Who Exposed Sexual Exploitation In Kericho’s Tea Estates

Tom Odula, a Kenyan journalist working as a freelancer reporter for BBC Africa has been hailed as a brave man after exposing sexual exploitation in various tea estates.

Alongside another female journalist who disguised herself as a woman seeking employment, the duo were able to capture how various managers asked for sex before employing females.

With the revelations of how rampant the issue is, Kenyans expressed their disgust over the matter. The Kenyan National Assembly has since delved into investigating the sexual exploitation scandal in various tea plantations owned by multinationals in the Rift Valley.

At least four managers who were filmed in the investigative piece dubbed Sex for work: The true cost of our tea have had their contracts terminated.

A photo of Tom Odula


In this article, WoK scripts the profile of Tom Odula, the heavily built and dreadlocked journalist who investigated the story.

Education Background 

Odula is from Luo Nyanza. According to his Facebook profile, he studied at Lang’ata High School. In 1998, he matriculated at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) for a Diploma in Broadcast Journalism.


In 2000, Odula began his career at the fourth estate as a crime reporter for Standard Newspaper and worked for 3 years.

He then served as the Operations Manager at Ceaj Audio Visual Services between 2004 and 2006. Odula has been an Associated Press reporter from 2008.

From 2021, he began working as a freelance journalist for BBC Africa where he has mainly centred on documentaries touching on gender based violence and other sociocultural issues.

In a past interview with Radio Maisha, he revealed that his investigations had opened up on how GBV is rampant in Kenya.

Gender-based violence is something that exists in almost every household. A big percentage of Kenyans have either seen it or experienced it. Many people are affected with GBV but they don’t get counselling, help and justice,” he said.

Night runner documentary

In May 2019, Odula covered a documentary on the night runners of Homa Bay County. He captured how they were terrorising residents at night and had a conversation with them.

The night runners revealed that they picked up the trade from their ancestors and they at times were caught and roughed up. The documentary has since accumulated over 1.9 million views on YouTube.