37-year-old man with First-Class, masters degree wallows in poverty and joblessness for being over-qualified
When 37-year-old Isaac Hague Oritcho graduated with a bachelors degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of Nairobi in 2007, he was optimistic that it would be the beginning of good fortune for him and his family.
However, the graduate is a shadow of his former self as his impressive qualifications could not secure him a job.
He yet again pursued his dream to a higher level and registered for postgraduate in Applied Human Nutrition.
13 years down the line, his dreams have been shattered and his hopes of getting a job continue to dwindle each passing day.
His quest to pursue education at a higher level has now become a stumbling block to his dream of getting employment.
“I didn’t know that my hard work would one day betray me. I remember back in High School and University I would sacrifice my sleep to trans-night almost daily hoping my future would be bright. Unfortunately, right now I am surrounded by disappointments, ” he said.
He has submitted 1000 applications to all relevant sectors like health, Non-Governmental Organisations, food and beverage factories, universities but none has yielded a positive response.
“In the unlimited applications I have made ever since I graduated I have been turned down mostly for over qualifications or lack of job which to me is very strange. “he said.
In 2017 he applied as a part-time lecturer at Masinde Muliro University where he was only allowed to lecture for one semester a pay which up-to-date he has never been made to him.
“I tried doing follow-ups but every time I am told to wait until I am like giving up. Someone was telling me to get a lawyer to help me out but I don’t have money to pay him/her. I find it odd. I don’t know if I am being punished for being a genius… Indeed the world can sometimes be unfair, ” he said.
Worse off, it is always difficult for him to believe that today’s top-cream in academia in Kenya have limited opportunities to engage talents through direct employment.
He sat for his Kenya Certificate of Primary Education at Kondele Primary School and attained 486 marks out of 700 which later earned him admission at Kisumu Boys High School now Kisumu School Where he sat for his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and scored a B+ in 2001.
Being a hardworking, brilliant, focused and ambitious fellow, his achievement earned him a slot in the University of Nairobi.
For the 37-year-old, poultry management and herding cattle have become his last resort as he helps his retired parents back in the Migosi Village area within Kisumu County since he graduated more than a decade ago.
During the interview, Oritcho said his first-class honours rewarded him institution’s recognition which made him attain Dean’s list an award that was acknowledged to him by prof. Agnes Mwang ‘ombe the by then Principal at the college of agriculture and veterinary sciences at the institution.
In his final year, he was nominated and awarded a certificate of merit for being the best undergraduate in the faculty of Agriculture selection involved meriting of departmental top academic nominees which included; B. Sc Agricultural Extension and Education, B. Sc. Agribusiness Management an award which was accredited by the then University’s Vice-Chancellor prof. George Maghoha is currently CS for Education.
After emerging the top academic performer, he was again awarded a full scholarship on attaining first-class honours to immediately pursue a Masters in Applied human nutrition
On many occasions, he admits he has contemplated suicide saying the rejection he has been through has affected him greatly.
“Sometimes I think death is the only solution for me, especially that I don’t see a chance of living. Not once, not twice have I thought of taking rat rat to take away my life because after death there is no suffering. I have suffered a lot, “he said.
“I remember about two years ago when I met my former classmate driving in a classy car. I was embarrassed and heartbroken when he asked me where I was. I didn’t know how to answer him so I had to pretend that I was in a hurry. ” he adds.
Oritcho questioned the CS for Education Prof. Magoha why he rewarded him with a certificate of merit which has since betrayed him everywhere he went in search of a job