Nairobi News


Seth Olale: I can’t enter the kitchen even for a glass of water – VIDEO

By Amina Wako September 2nd, 2020 3 min read

Seth Olale has experienced a fair share of the world.

From the slums of Kibera to well-calculated truancy, a short stint as a street boy seeking independence, a taste of life in the literal social pit where he experienced hardship, hunger and cold, the journey back home like the prodigal son, his fear and hatred of kitchens in equal measure… he has seen it all.

Who is Olale anyway? When he joined NTV in September 2011, he thought he would always be a sports journalist.

But the ever-changing media landscape has forced companies to merge desks and that is how he ended up covering current news in 2018.

His transition from the sports to current affairs came during the 2017 General Election when the station merged all sections to cover the polls.

Olale effectively found himself in an unfamiliar territory having covered sports for seven years.

That presented an opportunity to try something new. But the bubbly scribe owned the space and today, it’d take prompting to remember that he started as a sports journalist.

Well then, he is a journalist, but the query still lingers… who is Olale?


“I was born in Migori County where I spent my early childhood. We, however, moved to Kibera when I was three years old. I was the fourth-born in a family of six children: four boys and two sisters. Both the first and last born are girls,” he says.

Right from the beginning as a child, he wanted to become a journalist and growing up, he was required to learn a vocabulary daily and share with his father.

Growing up in Kibera was fun as it was more of a communal set-up; it was also hard because of the assortment of people around.

“We were mingling with people from diverse backgrounds and some people were not good, especially when you follow them. We had friends, we had people we knew who ended up joining criminal gangs and lost their lives,” he offers.

Well, he veered away from those types and that’s why he’s still alive. He started his educational journey at the Olympic Primary but while in Class Six, he ran away from school and lived in the streets for two weeks before returning home.

“Due to the discipline at the school, and I was a cheeky boy, I never used to attend all the classes despite having school fees paid. The teacher would call those who had not paid school fees and I would go home with them. For that, we were disciplined. Due to the beatings in Class Six, I opted not to go back to that school. My dad asked me: ‘You want to leave? Then get out of my house!’”


That is when he became a street boy for about two weeks.

“I used to be where Jack N’ Jill Supermarket was, near the Machakos Country Bus Station. With the parking boys, we would go carry luggage for guys coming in the city for hand-outs. It wasn’t easy, life became too difficult. We used to go hungry; we used to sleep beneath those vibandas. It was unbearable, so I returned home,” he recalls.

Our hero with tails twixt legs quit the streets and returned to daddy like the Biblical prodigal son, and became a good boy thereafter.

We could end it here but we are curious as to why he has a negative attitude to entering the kitchen.

“My father had warned many times that boys are not allowed in the kitchen. So, there is a day he found me in the kitchen, I will never forget the beating I received,” he offers.

“Until today, my wife says I’m rigid when it comes to… like having to cook together. How a perfect, happy couple is supposed to be but I tell her (the) kitchen is a no-go zone. It affected me to date. I don’t step into the kitchen.”

Aha! Voila! It was beaten out of him by daddy.