- Mr Achesa sought a job as a casual labourer at Mumias Sugar Company where he was employed as a loader.
- The former ODM man is among those credited with enabling the Jubilee Party to secure eight seats in the former Western Province.
Barring something extraordinary, Mr Rashid Achesa Mohammed is going to be the next Cabinet Secretary for Sports and Heritage, marking one more turn in an interesting journey for a man whose formal education ended at primary school.
While there had been speculation about his lack of depth in education, Mr Achesa did not avoid the matter when it came up in the forms he was required to fill during his vetting in the National Assembly.
The nominee, described in the Committee on Appointment’s report as “the youngest and the most dynamic”, attended Shibale Primary School between 1990 and 1997.
“Due to his humble background and challenges of school fees, he was not able to continue with his formal education,” the report, tabled in the House on Tuesday afternoon, said.
In his vetting last Friday, Mr Achesa said his father burnt charcoal for a living while his mother sold bananas, sometimes walking up to six kilometres to the market to sell the fruit.
“Having been born in a family of eight, I found it difficult because my mum and my father were really struggling to make ends meet and were unable to pay school fees for my siblings and myself,” Mr Achesa said.
After the premature end of his formal education, Mr Achesa sought a job as a casual labourer at Mumias Sugar Company where he was employed as a loader.
It was while at Mumias that he ventured into boxing, training at Mumias Boxing Club.
The man from the Nabongo Clan under Nabongo Mumia started at the novice level, went on to intermediate, and to the Kenya Open level.
“After my Kenya Open, I was approached by then Kenya Prisons head coach Gichuki who told me, ‘I want you to come and box for Kenya Prisons.’
"Since life was so difficult, my parents were unable to even pay school fees for my siblings, I decided to join Kenya Prisons,” he recalled.
The man, who will soon be entitled to a salary of Sh924,000 as Cabinet Secretary (he was cleared by the vetting team), was then on a salary of Sh3,000 part of which, he told the committee, he would send back home to pay school fees for his siblings.
Mr Achesa said he was at home on a sort of honeymoon after marrying in 2007 when he overheard a neighbour telling his mother about a Party of National Unity meeting and the search for someone to co-ordinate the activities of the party Mwai Kibaki had hastily put together as his vehicle for the elections later that year.