- Osoro takes pride in being one of the youngest legislators in the House but what puts him in the limelight often is his mouth, which is his main asset, he says
- When he is not arguing the law or politicking, Osoro plays the piano at Grace Church on Thika Road
As a politician what feeds me is my mouth same as a chalk helps a teacher put food on the table
He stands 5.3 feet tall and does not spot a potbelly.
South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro, 30, is a self-proclaimed hustler who recently shocked the nation when he exchanged blows in a funeral.
The legislator from Kisii county says he has seen it all—from a streets urchin to sitting at the high table as a politician.
Osoro may rub shoulders with Deputy President William Ruto today, but the vocal legislator had a painful start in life.
He lost both parents at a young age and found himself in the streets. His mother, a nurse, and father, a primary school teacher, died within three months of each other.
The fifth born in a family of six siblings, Osoro says he took care of his father for the three years he was sick.
"I was close to my father and he had actually named me after one of his relatives.
“We were very close that when he was sick I would travel to get his salary. I would also accompany him to hospital for medication.”
He recalls one time when the two of them went to a hotel in Kisii town, ordered food and after eating his father wandered off while Osoro was distracted. “I was ‘imprisoned’ until a relative was sent to bring cash,” he says.
After his father died life took a turn for the worse. “Though I was cited as next of kin, much of the money meant to benefit us [children] was squandered.”
Life then twisted the knife. Three months after his father’s demise, his mother breathed her last.
She did not get a decent send-off, a painful memory for the MP.
“She was buried like a dog, not what one would expect for a person who had worked leaving a mark in so many people’s lives,” he says.
She was a nurse at Kisii District Hospital, now Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital.
We share so many things in common: We are both sons of men who were not known beyond their villages. Ruto has struggled very much in life the same way that I have. He is a development-conscious leader who means well for the country.
The siblings were then sent to live with various relatives. “It was not easy. I went to live with my uncle in Nairobi. Things were good initially but then he was arrested and jailed for two years.”
The uncle’s business collapsed.
“My aunt could not manage to feed us and we often went hungry,” he says “When I could not taking it any more I ran away from home to the streets.”
There he scavenged for food until someone who knew his uncle took him in. Osoro was taken to Kihara Primary School and later Gachie. In between classes he collected scrap metal and saved some money.
“The money enabled my younger brother and I to travel to Kericho to the home of one of my uncles who was a senior manager in one of the tea estates.” Osoro was enrolled in school but not before being made to work as a tea picker, earning Sh70 a day.
“I joined Chemasingi Primary School in Kericho. I worked hard and when I did my KCPE I got 406 out of 500 marks, becoming the top student in our division and got admission to join Kapsabet Boys High School.”
Fees was a challenge, so he dropped out and enrolled in St Joseph’s Nyabigena Boys High School, instead, where he sat his KCSE exam. He then enrolled in the University of Nairobi where he studied law.
Osoro takes pride in being one of the youngest legislators in the House but what puts him in the limelight often is his mouth, which is his main asset, he says.
“As a politician what feeds me is my mouth same as a chalk helps a teacher put food on the table,” he says.
But when the mouth fails, he can resort to the fists.
A fortnight ago Osoro shocked the nation when he lunged at Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati at a funeral service in Tendere, Kisii, on live television.
The funeral service was for an elderly man, no less, the father of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi.
Politics is rough. He should know, having been in it since 2013.
Osoro ran for Embakasi South MP in Nairobi in 2013 but lost.
The loss drove him to Kisii, where in 2017 he ran in South Mugirango on the Kenya National Congress ticket.
He comes from a relatively small clan, which did not augur well for him in a region where clan politics is rife.
He however he won.
When he is not arguing the law or politicking, Osoro plays the piano at Grace Church on Thika Road.
Back to politics, he says, ''I have been a staunch supporter of ODM leader Raila Odinga and the party. I even campaigned for him in the August 2017 general election.”
Now he is in Ruto’s camp. Why?
“We share so many things in common: We are both sons of men who were not known beyond their villages. Ruto has struggled very much in life the same way that I have. He is a development-conscious leader who means well for the country.”