The great Samuel Akoolo Openda, our grandfather in 1936 aged 38
Rare photo of our grandfather, Samuel Akoolo Openda in 1936 when he was thirty eight years of age. Take note of the double ``O'' in his middle name. It is not in error.
He was very stylish, well educated and a truly sophisticated man. By 1928 he had learnt how to speak, read *and* write English and was working as an official documents' translator for the British colonial government in Kenya. At the time of his death in 1968 aged exactly 70, he was the principal of the Bukura Institute for Agriculture, now the Bukura Agricultural college. Samuel had served as an Agricultural extension officer and a teacher there before then. He left behind four widows, Rhoda Musindalo, Flora Odongo, Risper Nangabo and Sandra "Sanderi" Matroba, and twenty six children (nine daughters and seventeen sons)
A story is told that when his eldest son, John Odera, passed away while in secondary school at Maseno High, Samuel resigned from his job. He had lost so much hope in life, he even stopped taking medication for a health issue (unknown) he had at the time. This led to his demise
For a fairly long period of time, he was arguably the most prominent farmer in the entire Western region of Kenya, which includes the Luo Nyanza province. Estimates say that he had employed over a hundred people in his hundred or so acre farm at our rural home in Marama North area of Kwhisero district.
Samuel served too as a source of infomation for many books on the history of Western Kenya, all the way from the Bantu migrations from West Africa to early 1900s