#MCM: Octopizzo opens up about his education
Kenyan rapper Henry Ochieng Ohanga, better known as Octopizzo, is a man who speaks his mind unapologetically. He is not new to controversy.
Citizen Digital caught up with the Hip Hop star and he shared exclusive details about his early life,ed ambition and perspectives on emerging social issues.
The first-born in a family of four says he assumed the role of his siblings’ parents since 2003 after his parents separated.
“I started fending for myself when I was 15. My siblings were housed by different people at that time, among them family friends and relatives. I had rented a house in Satellite. After seven years of extreme hustle, I reunited with them. We did not keep in touch throughout the seven years. My hustle was mjengo work, sales, and mechanics.”
On his education
“I have never dropped out of school, I strongly value education. I schooled to Form Four; I passed my national exams, but I did not manage to join college since my parents had no money.”
“I don’t believe there’s any justification to use one’s background as an excuse to drop out of school. If you are a sharp kid, I am sure financial help will come your way provided you present your problems to potential sponsors in a nice way. I lost my parents in Form Two, but a Good Samaritan paid for the rest of my secondary education because I valued education.”
“I attended Mashimoni Primary School in Kibera up to class four, and I sat for my KCPE in Olumba Primary in Ugenya, Siaya County. Later, I attended Kibera Glory High School in Laini Saba.”
When we sought to know Octopizzo’s KCSE grade, he said:“(Laughs) I cannot tell you. If you really want to know, visit Kibera Glory High School in Laini Saba and they’ll tell you my grade.”
The rapper has a certificate in Electricity and Electrical Wiring; a course he pursued after high school.
Is the rapper contemplating furthering his studies?
“I am considering going back to school; but again, my financial ability is stretched. I am currently paying school fees for my children who are in elementary institutions, sister who is in university, and brother who is in secondary school. After the financial responsibilities reduce, I would go back to school to study Clearing and Freight Forwarding.”
He has recorded Luo songs
His colloquial Sheng might deceive you to think that Octopizzo has completely forgotten about his mother language. No, the rapper, having roots in Ugenya, has excellent mastery of Dholuo; he has even crafted songs in his native dialect.
“I have recorded a Dholuo song with Iddi Achieng’ titled Wuoda. It is available on iTunes. And when I visit Kisumu, I perform all my shows in Dholuo. Those who doubt me should inquire.”
He has presidential ambitions
Octopizzo says music isn’t the ceiling of his dream and that he aspires to be Kenya’s president in 2022. Should he clinch the coveted seat, the pro-youth advocate says his first order of business will be inspirational – taking Kibera youth for a week-long tour of Karen and Runda areas of Nairobi. Octo says this move will provoke hard work and ambition among the Kibera youth.
The Ivo Ivo star says the youth will be his administration’s priority.
“As a president, I will work closely with Kenya’s community-based youth organisations to fund the projects that they establish. Kenyan youth are innovative; it is only that they lack platforms where they can practice their skills. I promise to invest in their ideas, creations and innovations.”
On musical success – did he foresee it?
“No, I did not foresee huge musical success, but I put in a lot of work. I had vowed I would come out of the slums by all means. I did not want to raise my kids in the same environment my grandfather, parents and I lived in. Nonetheless, my dreams were bigger than music – I want to be the president of Kenya; now that is my dream.”
On rejecting his Bingwa Music Award for Comeback Artiste of the Year
Octopizzo baffled Kenyans in January this year when he declined to take home his Comeback Artiste of the Year Bingwa Music Award citing: “insult to the name he had made for himself over the years.”
Addressing the matter on record during this interview, Octopizzo said: “I know my worth. I am not a trophy rapper; I rap to inspire young generations, I rap to inspire the youth, I rap to be an icon of possibility for people who are looked down upon – especially those who are in the informal settlements. One cannot give me a Comeback Award, whereas I have been in the music industry since 2008 and every year I churn a hit song.”
“That was like contents of insult put inside a box and wrapped by an Award cover. Man, I don’t care if you nominate me or not. If you feel like I am doing work worth nominating, go ahead and do so.”
Octopizzo’s take on young women and “sponsors”
“That is blunder! It hurts me that socialites are applauded for their raunchiness. The media should in fact give these lazy jokers a total blackout.”
“Praising young women for sleeping around with elderly loaded men is a bad thing, especially for a man like me who is raising daughters. I get stomach ulcers when I imagine my daughters growing up believing that sleeping around with old men is cool. The radio, TV stations and online channels should blacklist these socialites.”
“Most of these old men who are sleeping around have diseases such as STIs and AIDS; they’ll sleep with a woman, give her money – but the woman on the other hand would acquire such diseases from him.”
“The media should concentrate on women who engage in constructive work.”
Octo’s take on young men who escape responsibilities after fathering children…
“Wanafaa wapigwe mangumi sana (They should be boxed at thoroughly)! If I become president I will hunt them down. Any man who would have fathered a child and escaped responsibility would have only two choices: to look for the woman he impregnated, apologise and accept responsibility or face a prison term.”
“When my first daughter was born, I was broke. I only had Ksh20 with me; but I did not run away from responsibility.”
“The child should grow up with both parents; men should not shy away from being the father figures to their children. If you go around having unprotected sex; then you are communicating that you are ready for parental responsibilities; face the consequences of your actions, man!”