According to Enock Onkoba, his greatest achievement was making the county government understand the youth and their role in the community. As a Nakuru Youth Bunge president, he was instrumental in making the Nakuru County executive understand that the youth can be partners and not a threat to the administration.
For two years up to June 2014, he was a board member for the Nakuru Youth Bunge and in the third year, he was to be elected president for a whole year before Philip Ng’ok took over in June 2015.
Journey to leadership
His journey to leadership started in 2010 after the promulgation of the new constitution. He had been in Juba, South Sudan for two years but after the promulgation of the constitution he came back to Kenya.
“I saw an opportunity for youth development and a chance to change lives for the communities under the new constitution,” says Onkoba.
The first thing Onkoba did after coming home to Molo was to train as a Community Health worker under the Ministry of Health. He also joined hands with some youths in his locality and formed a youth group that would help foster peace and development in his area.
“Our home area was still reeling from the effects of the 2007/2008 Post election Violence (PEV). There was still a lot of mistrust and by bringing youth from different communities together, I knew I would be playing a role in bringing back some sanity,” reveals Onkoba.
Among his achievements as the leader of that group was writing a proposal to a donor that saw the full electrification of Mukinyai Secondary school at no cost to the school. The coming of power to the school also opened up the opportunity to for the surrounding community to install power.
He also helped in putting up a bridge in his area.
After college, Onkoba first worked for the Chinese company in the construction of the Thika super highway and later worked with China Road and Bridge Company to build the Nakuru-Eldoret road. His next stop was in Kainuk, Turkana working in a soda depot where a friend had referred him.
Working in a soda depot opened up a new opportunity for him in Juba and in 2008, he went to South Sudan for the first time. He worked with the company for 3 months but unfortunately, he had to leave when his employer failed to pay his wages.
The entrepreneurial bug bit Onkoba around this time. He tried several businesses before setting up a car wash business in Sudan. He rented a space to put up his business and got the car wash machine from a Ugandan where he was to pay daily wages.
The business did not really do well and once again sought employment working with EYAT Oilfield Company services for seven months while still in Sudan. The project he was working on was the construction of a road from Juba town to the Ugandan border.
With his training, experience, exposure and his savings, he came together with some friends and together they set up a construction company.
Politics, the present and the future
Having been exposed to leadership at various levels, Onkoba got into politics by seeking to be elected a Member of County Assembly for Molo though he lost.
“I got into politics because I wanted change. This being the first election after the promulgation of the new constitution, I wanted to be in the initial county Assembly so that I could put strong foundation to proper legislation,” says Onkoba.
With a friend, Onkoba will also be launching a free magazine which will be running monthly which is basically an advertisement platform and will also give a spot for youth to talk about their business. Plans are also in the pipeline to set up an academy for school and college leavers which will equip them with the requisite job market skills.
“We have realized that universities do not always produce that individual who is exactly ready for the job market. We shall be equipping the graduates with on job skills in conjunction with different companies,” says Onkoba.