Ledama Olekina is a Kenyan politician who serves as the Senator for Narok County. Olekina was elected on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) ticket in the August 8, 2017, general elections in Kenya.
He was born and raised in Oloombokishi, a small village near Narok, Kenya, on 11 November 1974.
Ledama Olekina was educated at Narok High School and thereafter proceeded to the United States where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and English Communication from The University of Massachusetts in Boston in 2002.
He is the founder of Maasai Education Discovery, an education center for girls. Ledama Ole Kina has been involved in efforts to conserve the Mau Forest in Kenya.
Ledama Olekina Full Background Story
A son of Kenya, Sen. Ledama is a results-oriented leader with a proven track record in attracting investments to promote social development and economic growth. A dynamic and persuasive communicator, Ledama has used his training in political science and communications to contribute to the current discourse on Kenyan politics and development through a weekly column in the Star (Weekend Edition) and his recent campaign for Governor of Narok County.
Born to Meiteganyu OleNchoshoi and Siminta Enole Torome, Ledama grew up in Narok. His maternal grandfather James Ole Torome fought in the 1st and 2nd World War and worked as an engineer for the British colonial government. Raised by his parents and his grandfather, with whom he spent most of his school holidays taking care of the family cows and goats, Ledama attended Olesankale Primary School and Narok High School. Following his graduation in 1993, Ledama was employed as an assistant producer for Reuters, African Journal, weekly news, and current affairs TV program based in Nairobi.
Determined to continue his studies, Ledama worked his way through college in the US, where he earned joint Bachelor degrees in political science and communications at the University of Massachusetts in Boston and Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. During the school summer vacations, Ledama traveled to London where his lifetime mentor and adopted Welsh father, Gerrard Williams, helped him find jobs as a researcher working for Diverse Productions, Educational Television Network, and European Business News in London.
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In May 1999, Ledama became the first Kenyan-Maasai ever to walk across the United States of America to raise awareness of the need for quality education. This first walk took him from Durango, Colorado to Phoenix, Arizona, where he walked over 565 miles (909 Kilometers) dressed in his traditional clothes. His goal was, and still is, to create a university in Kenya. Ledama’s second walk took him from Boston to Chicago, totaling 1,765 miles (2826 kilometers), during which he often walked up to 80 kilometers a day.
In 2018, Ledama Olekina was cautioned by Kenya’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) against making issuing utterances bordering on incitement against the Kipsigis Community. He has also been accused by other Kenyan politicians of fuelling hate against one community after the Senator claimed that most state jobs were being awarded to one community in Kenya.
Ledama Olekina Achievements
In January 2000, Ledama returned to Kenya to set up the Maasai Education Discovery (MED) project in Narok. His effort bore good fruit from his walks, Ledama was able to initiate the Girl’s Scholarship Program. This provides up to 1500 scholarships a year for girls to attend primary, secondary, and college.
Following the success of the scholarship program, Ledama set up an education resource center located in Narok, 80 miles southwest of Nairobi. This the base for all of MED’s programs. This includes houses a library, a business center, a community college, and a cultural art center. Beyond that, he partnered with the United States International Development (USAID) Presidential Initiatives, first under President Bill Clinton (EDDI) and later under President George W. Bush (AEI), to provide up to 1500 girls and 300 boys with scholarships to attain basic education.
Internet in Narok
Ledama has also computerized over 15 schools in Narok and Kajiado districts and 2002 Ledama brought the internet to Narok. Since the beginning of 2005, he has been running various programs, which have promoted education in the Rift Valley, Eastern and Nairobi Province, including working to secure full scholarships for three Maasai girls to study Medicine in the United States of America.
In 2006 Ledama installed the first wireless network in Narok after having secured a US$500,000 equipment grant from Cisco Systems International. In 2006 he established the first online investment firm, called www.kenyashares.com to enable Kenyans living in the diaspora to invest in Kenya through the Nairobi Stock Exchange. The online platform has encouraged many Kenyans overseas to invest and contribute to the economic development of Kenya.