In the heart of the poverty-stricken Manyatta slum on the outskirts of Kisumu county, where opportunities are scarce and dreams often wither in the face of adversity, emerged a story of unwavering determination and remarkable resilience.
The protagonist of this tale, Polycarp Ochola, defied the odds stacked against him, transforming his humble beginnings into a thriving entrepreneurial empire.
Born into a polygamous family with limited means, Ochola’s early life was marked by financial hardship.
Despite the challenges, he pursued his education with an unyielding spirit.
“I was raised in an extremely humble background; my late father didn’t even have a bicycle,” he recounted during an interview.
His tenacity led him through Ramba Boys High School and later Ambira High School, where he laid the foundation for his future endeavors.
Ochola’s journey took a significant turn when he graduated from the University of Nairobi with a degree in Political Science.
Armed with knowledge and a burning desire to create change, he ventured into the employment sector, working at various security firms, including Securicor Kenya Limited and Patriotic Guards Limited.
However, it was in the year 2000 that the spark of entrepreneurship ignited within him.
Guardforce Security Tanzania Limited, Ochola’s brainchild, marked the inception of his entrepreneurial endeavors. This venture paved the way for his subsequent success, as he later established ADT Security Kenya Limited.
The company, now employing over 3500 guards nationwide, not only contributed to Ochola’s prosperity but also provided employment opportunities for many others, fostering economic growth in the region.
Ochola’s entrepreneurial spirit knew no bounds.
He diversified his investments, venturing into various sectors.
Smartassets Properties Limited, his venture in real estate, played a pivotal role in the buying and selling of land and properties, reshaping the landscape of Kisumu County.
Additionally, he entered the fuel industry, establishing a chain of petrol stations under Excel Logistics Limited, thus contributing significantly to the region’s economic development.
His impact extended to agriculture with the establishment of Kamili Coffee Estates, owning extensive coffee farms in the Koru and Fortenan areas.
Ochola’s vision went beyond individual enterprises; he aimed to uplift his community.
One of his most remarkable achievements was the establishment of the Koru Country Club, a four-star hotel nestled in the serene environment of Koru, Kisumu County.
The hotel, boasts 56 rooms, cottages, conference facilities, and a modern swimming pool.
However, Ochola’s journey was not without its challenges.
In 2023, he survived a horrific car accident, a testament to his resilience and unwavering faith. Despite setbacks, he persevered, demonstrating the strength of character that defined his path to success.
Family remained at the core of Ochola’s achievements.
As a proud father of two sons, Max and Tedd, both of whom pursued education internationally, he emphasized the value of learning and growth.
Furthermore, he ventured into politics, becoming a gubernatorial aspirant in Kisumu county during the 2022 elections, standing under the Kenya Kwanza coalition.