Oscar Sudi is a Kenyan politician and member of Parliament (MP), born in 1980. Sudi’s full name is Oscar Sudi Kipchumba.
Oscar Sudi Life Story from Makanga to Filthy Rich MP
The Nairobian sought out Oscar Sudi to shed light on his grass to grace life, whose good fortunes he attributes to sheer hard work, respect, and care for humanity.
The man who lost Sh11 million to ‘wash wash’ con artists says, “I was born in 1980, my parents were squatters in the Moi University area and all we had was a grass-thatched house in the farm of Mzee Kibor arap Talai who allowed us to stay on his farm but a temporary basis.
I used to sleep in the kitchen with my two brothers.” Sudi reveals that his mother was jobless while his dad was a charcoal dealer whose income from selling Sh40 charcoal bags provided fees for him at Tulwop-Ngetuny Primary School.
“In 1994, I bought a second-hand bicycle from my accumulated savings, which helped me ferry charcoal to clients. I later sold the bike and bought a new one for Sh3,800. That year, my father had helped my mum open a grocery business at Moi University-Main Campus roundabout, where I would sometimes help her,” explains Sudi, whose dad was sacked in 1995 and hence their focus on charcoal and grocery business to make ends meet.
It was at his mother’s grocery where young Sudi made friends with matatu operators and began touting.
“The conductors became my friends and I began working as a parking boy in 1996. After six months, I got introduced to one matatu owner, Mzee Barnabas Sawe, whose vehicles were labeled Carlos,” says Sudi. “He was paying me Sh800 and by the end of the year, he increased it to Sh1,200 due to my hard work and honesty,” he claimed.
After one and a half years, Sudi learned how to drive, and when he turned 18 in1998, he began driving matatus and saved money from his salary to buy fertilizer and seeds. He says that he cultivated three-acres and then seven acres the following year.
“In 2000, I got married and moved to an iron-sheet house with my wife. That is when I bought my matatu Peugeot 504 and operated it with Sawe’s fleet. The following year, I traveled to Nairobi with a friend for the first time and bought a black and white TV and a radio,” said Sudi, who was in Nairobi with his friend, Stephen Sorgor. His entrepreneurial nature was such that seeing Nairobians paying to play the game of pool saw him thinking of duplicating the same in Eldoret.
“I then borrowed Sh110,000 and bought two tables which I installed in Kesses and they made me good money. I bought five other tables that I gradually I installed at Moi University, Mugundoi, and Cherangany areas as I operated my matatu.”
Sudi claims that he then sold the matatu and bought a Toyota saloon and a Mazda pick-up to help coordinate his business and it was while buying the cars that he got interested in motor dealership.
“I went to Mombasa and bought a car which I sold for a good profit in Eldoret. In Mombasa, I met the current Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony who was then a lecturer. He linked me with his comrades whom I would assist to purchase cars duty-free because they enjoyed the exemption.”
Wealthy Mombasa businessman David Lagat reportedly noticed Sudi’s aggressiveness and extended deals to him for his massive clearing and forwarding agency, which eventually stretched to land deals in Uasin Gishu. It was through Lagat that Sudi met powerful people, among them former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and Deputy President William Ruto who was then Eldoret North MP.
Business mixed with political connections grows and with it, political interests that saw Sudi campaign for David Koros for the Eldoret South seat in 2003 “but he abandoned us when he got into power.”
According to Sudi, “I was conned of Sh11 million two years later by money launderers and had to go back to the drawing board. I sold most of my property and borrowed Sh400,000 from Sorgor to stay afloat in business.” He also reportedly relied on David Lagat’s connections for more car and land deals to revive his fortunes.
Sudi supported the currently embattled former Eldoret South MP Peris Simam, now facing fraud charges, to oust Koros during the 2007 General Election. He reveals that “I spent a significant amount of money to support her get into power and masterminded campaign work but three months after elections, she began evading me.”