Steve Ogolla is a name that has become synonymous with success and excellence in the Kenyan legal fraternity.
Despite his numerous achievements and accolades, few people know that Steve Ogolla sat for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) three times to get to university to study for a Bachelor of Law.
Born and raised in a small village in Siaya County, Steve Ogolla was the second-last born in a family of nine children. He was brought up by a single mother who worked hard to ensure that her children received an education.
While most of his siblings dropped out of school, Steve persevered, determined that education would provide him with an opportunity to succeed and help his family.
‘I did my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examinations in 1997 and scored 571 marks out of 700. This earned me a spot at St Mary’s School Yala, one of the leading schools in Nyanza,” he said in a past interview.
In 1998, Steve began his high school education but had to leave after completing Form One due to financial difficulties. He then moved to Kibera in Nairobi to live with his brother and study from home, borrowing notes from friends who attended school.
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In 2000, Steve was able to return to school and was admitted to Form Three at a different institution. He sat for KCSE the following year and attained a B- of 59 points, a few points shy of the Grade B Plain cutoff for admission to public universities at the time.
”I had missed the University Joint Admissions Board target of 64 points and I knew there was no way I could raise money to join the parallel programme,” he narrated.
Unable to join a public university under the government-sponsored program, Steve opted to seek menial jobs in the city.
He was determined to pursue university education and returned to high school in 2002, enrolling for his second attempt at KCSE. This time, he scored a B Plain, still falling short of the cutoff points.
‘I was elated when I scored a B plain of 65 points, confident that this time I would get admission to university. However, the cut-off points were raised from 64 to 66. I had missed it again, this time by a mark,”
Steve then tried his luck with several business opportunities, including a kinyozi, but was inspired to return to school after meeting former classmates who were doing well after going to university.
In 2005, he sat for KCSE for the third time and scored a straight A, marking the beginning of his journey to becoming the great lawyer he is today.
Steve’s journey to becoming a top legal mind in Kenya was not an easy one.
After completing his KCSE, he joined the University of Nairobi to study law. However, he had to work part-time to pay for his fees, which made it difficult for him to concentrate on his studies.
He also struggled with some of the legal concepts, which made it challenging for him to keep up with his classmates.
Despite the challenges, Steve remained determined and focused on his goals. He spent countless hours in the library reading and researching, and he sought help from his lecturers whenever he was stuck. Slowly but surely, his hard work and dedication paid off, and he began to excel in his studies.
After completing his law degree, Steve Ogolla was admitted to the Kenya School of Law, where he underwent training to become a lawyer. He then joined a law firm in Nairobi, where he worked as an associate for several years.
During this time, he gained valuable experience and knowledge, which he used to establish his law firm, Steve Ogolla & Associates.
Since then, Steve has risen to become one of the top legal minds in Kenya. He has represented clients in high-profile cases and has won numerous awards and accolades for his outstanding work.
He is also a respected commentator on legal issues and is a regular contributor to local and international media outlets.
Despite his success, Steve Ogolla has not forgotten his humble beginnings. He is actively involved in philanthropic work, particularly in the education sector, where he supports disadvantaged students to access education.
He is also a mentor to young people, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, and encourages them to pursue their dreams regardless of the challenges they may face.