Self-taught Chef Dennis Ombachi has opened up on a tumultuous chapter of his childhood, marked by ethnic profiling that altered the course of his family's life.
Dennis Ombachi recalls rough childhood after dad was forced to quit his job
The responsibilities, once shared, turned fully on Ombachi's mother who ran a mitumba business
Ombachi vividly recounts the pivotal moment when, at the age of 7, his father received a letter compelling him to resign from his job due to their different community background.
"Ethnic profiling is not new to my life, even before 2007 we had the 90’s. I remember I was around 7 years old when my dad received a letter asking him to resign or else they were coming for his head and our family just because we were from a different community," Ombachi shared, shedding light on the early exposure to discrimination that shaped his formative years.
The forced resignation thrust an unforeseen burden on Ombachi's family. The responsibility, once shared, now rested solely on his mother's shoulders.
To make ends meet, the family turned to the 'mitumba' selling business, a lifeline that sustained them until 2007, when even this source of stability came to an abrupt halt due to the post-election violence.
"We had a decent life before then, but he had to resign, and every responsibility was left to my mother, and the 'mitumba' selling business kept us going, well until 2007 when that also stopped," Ombachi reflects.
Ombachi witnessed his mother's frantic efforts to ensure their safety, relying on the whispers of kind strangers, the lifelines thrown by Samaritans who offered updates on the unfolding chaos and guided them to sanctuaries.
Ombachi's narrative extends beyond personal hardship, addressing the persistent tribalism that continues to divide communities.
Expressing concern for the younger generation, he highlights the urgency of embracing unity. Drawing on his own experiences, Ombachi emphasises the rapid escalation of situations and the necessity for collective brotherhood.
"I really pity our generation that is still divided by tribalism here, even here on the TL. Most haven’t experienced how quick the situation can turn ugly. My experiences have taught me the importance of us all living as brothers and sisters," Ombachi asserted.
Closing with a poignant quote, Ombachi issued a powerful plea for societal introspection, urging members of society to live as brothers and sisters or perish as fools.
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