UON’s first-class graduate with two master’s degrees languishing in poverty

Isaac Hague Oritcho’s journey began with promise and potential. In 2007, he proudly graduated from the University of Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology.

Fueled by optimism, he believed that his academic achievements would pave the way for a prosperous future for both himself and his family. Little did he know that his credentials would become both a blessing and a curse.

Fast forward , and Isaac’s story has taken an unexpected turn.

Despite his impressive qualifications, he finds himself trapped in a cycle of unemployment.

His once bright outlook has been dimmed by the harsh realities of a job market that often values experience over education.

Determined to enhance his opportunities, Isaac embarked on a postgraduate journey in Applied Human Nutrition.

However, what was intended to be a path to success transformed into an obstacle blocking his way to employment. Over the span of 13 years, his dreams have been shattered, and with each passing day, his hope wanes.

Ironically, his insatiable hunger for education and self-improvement has worked against him. Isaac’s qualifications, which should have been his ticket to success, have become a barrier, marking him as “overqualified” for many positions he seeks.

During a candid interview with K24 in 2021 Isaac shared his poignant experiences.

“Back in high school and university, I sacrificed countless nights of sleep, envisioning a bright future. Regrettably, disappointment now surrounds me,” he expressed.

Despite sending out a thousand job applications to various sectors, including health, non-governmental organizations, food and beverage factories, and universities, Isaac’s efforts have met with little success.

“In the unlimited applications I have made ever since I graduated I have been turned down mostly for over qualifications or lack of job which to me is very strange. “he said.

He told K24 Digital that he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Kondele Primary School and attained 486 marks out of 700 which later earned him admission at Kisumu Boys High School now Kisumu School Where he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and scored a B+ in 2001.

Being a hardworking, brilliant, focused and ambitious fellow, his achievement earned him a slot in the University of Nairobi.

For the 37-year-old, poultry management and herding cattle have become his last resort as he helps his retired parents back in the Migosi Village area within Kisumu County since he graduated more than a decade ago.

During the interview, Oritcho said his first-class honours rewarded him institution’s recognition which made him attain Dean’s list an award that was acknowledged to him by prof. Agnes Mwang ‘ombe the by then Principal at the college of agriculture and veterinary sciences at the institution.

In his final year, he was nominated and awarded a certificate of merit for being the best undergraduate in the faculty of Agriculture selection involved meriting of departmental top academic nominees which included; B. Sc Agricultural Extension and Education, B. Sc. Agribusiness Management an award which was accredited by the then University’s Vice-Chancellor prof. George Maghoha is currently CS for Education.

After emerging the top academic performer, he was again awarded a full scholarship on attaining first-class honours to immediately pursue a Masters in Applied human nutrition

On many occasions, he admits he has contemplated suicide saying the rejection he has been through has affected him greatly.

“Sometimes I think death is the only solution for me, especially that I don’t see a chance of living. Not once, not twice have I thought of taking rat rat to take away my life because after death there is no suffering. I have suffered a lot, “he said.

“I remember about two years ago when I met my former classmate driving in a classy car. I was embarrassed and heartbroken when he asked me where I was. I didn’t know how to answer him so I had to pretend that I was in a hurry. ” he adds.


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