The story of Ombima and MV Uhuru at the Kisumu Pier

MV Uhuru is a cargo vessel which was acquired by the East Africa Railways and harbour for its inland Marine service based in Kisumu.

One sunny evening in 1967, the captain realized he couldnt start the ship which was supposed to make a scheduled voyage to Mwanza.

During those days most Marine engineers at marine division Kisumu were British except for a young Tito Ombima who was the only African.

In a bid to bring the engines to life 3 British engineers entered the ship’s engine room without Ombima who was asked to stay outside.

After spending almost 4 hours in the dark engine room of this newly built ship ,the Brits still couldnt figure out where the fault was.

With desperation now creeping in as the time for depature fast approached, Ombima boldly approached the three British engineers who were his seniors and asked them to give him a chance ,which they did reluctantly.

It didnt take Ombima more than 20 minutes in the engine room before MV Uhuru’s engines started roaring.

Most people including my dad who was working at the marine division at the time ,believed Ombima who was known to be clever but also cunning, intentionally created a secret fault to beat the British who had always sidelined him at their own game.

Stalled MV Uhuru at Kisumu pier
Currently Stalled MV Uhuru at Kisumu pier

Ombima later rose to become the first African superitendent Marine Engineer Kenya Railways.

Story by Odhiambo Levin Opiyo, via Facebook

Have anything else to add? Write it below:



You May Also Like

Playful Kisumu

There is a child in all of us. In our personalities, well most of ...

Why Nyanza: Future of Kenya?

If there is a region in Kenya that lies bustling with unmatched potential, that ...

Massive Development projects in Kisumu

Via Facebook, by Viscount Francis K’Owuor  Massive Development projects that Kisumu County residents should ...

Which Musical tracks do you play while travelling?

Travelling can be energy sapping leaving you drained, so you need a boost, something ...

Oliver Mtukudzi’s Melodies to Tune Up Kisumu this Saturday

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi is a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and currently ...