Bahati’s rival, politician Billian Ojiwa recalls his struggles as a waiter
Former Mathare MP aspirant Billian Ojiwa is a man of many talents and a relentless dreamer. Despite setbacks and rejection, he continues to pursue his goals with unwavering determination.
In 2015, Ojiwa’s aspirations led him to audition for a hosting show at Jamhuri grounds, where he joined a long queue of hopeful contestants just like him.
Unfortunately, he was told he didn’t make the cut and another talented individual, Edith Kimani, was chosen instead.
But this setback didn’t deter Ojiwa from his quest for success.
“In 2015, when KTN announced auditions for the presenter show held at Jamhuri grounds, I walked from Mathare in a long queue with high hopes that I was the one (vile nilitolewa kwa line nikiambiwa ‘Not you!’ siwezi sahau),” he wrote on Facebook.
Throughout his career, Ojiwa has ventured into various fields, including music, activism and politics.
“I’ve been a waiter, done music, done acting, [worked at and ran an] NGO and done politics (maybe yot done…yet) but I still keep trying. So don’t get tired of trying, even if it’s not what you want in life, because that’s how we keep moving,” he added.
Ojiwa’s personal journey has played a significant role in shaping his commitment to uplifting disadvantaged communities.
After the untimely death of his parents in 2002, when he was just 14 years old, Ojiwa found himself responsible for supporting his siblings in the Mathare informal settlement.
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He took on various odd jobs to support his family and continue his education.
Music became Ojiwa’s escape during this difficult time. He released his own singles and later founded the Billian Music Family (BMF) in 2010.
This institutional platform aims to support talented young people by providing them with resources and opportunities for personal growth.
Through this platform, Ojiwa launched the Ficha Uchi initiative, which provides school uniforms to students who cannot afford them.
Working with parents and teachers, the organisation ensures that students receive proper uniforms, enabling them to attend school with dignity.
The Ficha Uchi initiative works through a network of generous individuals, companies and a team of around 200 local tailors who contribute fabric and sewing materials.
Ojiwa’s determination and resilience was further demonstrated in the August 2022 general election, where he stood as a candidate for the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
Although he secured an impressive second place with 16,912 votes, Anthony Oluoch of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) retained his seat with 28,098 votes. Singer Bahati came in third. He received 8,166 votes while running for the Jubilee party.