19 May 2019

Kenya: 'Nation' Sports Journalist Quits the Newsroom to Join Priesthood

Photo: Daily Nation
Kenyan sports journalist Vincent Opiyo during a past assignment for the Daily Nation.

Kenyan sports journalist Vincent Opiyo admits he had to make one of the toughest decisions of his life by leaving his virtuous job as an employee of the Nation Media Group (NMG) to pursue Priesthood.

Opiyo, 29, who joined NMG in 2017 has elected to pursue priesthood through the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Roman Catholic congregation of priests and brothers.

In his last article for the Sunday Nation as an employee of the media house, Opiyo said his decision - which has surprised many - was his lifetime ambition and also a culmination of the struggles of pursuing employment in the Kenyan employment leading him to appreciate life and employment.

ALTAR BOY

"At the age of 12, I became an Altar Boy in my home parish, Nangina Catholic church. This was a year of finishing my catechism classes that culminated into receiving Holy Communion. It is during this period that I started dreaming of being like my parish priest who was a friend and a father figure," he said.

"I joined the University of Nairobi for a Broadcast Journalism course in September 2011 but my hopes for a bursary from a charity organization collapsed and I had to drop out after failing to pay the Sh110,000 fees," he further narrated.

Opiyo also recounted the many hardships he went through in his alternative path to the newsroom after he missed the opportunity to join university.

"I applied for evening classes at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) in Nairobi and sold Airtel mobile phone SIM cards on the streets to add to the little upkeep my father gave me. A SIM card was Sh50, my profit was Sh20," he said.

FISHER OF MEN

During his brief stint at NMG, Opiyo established himself as a prolific sports writer for the Daily Nation and Mwanaspoti - his specialty being football.

Last Friday Opiyo bid farewell to his colleagues at Nation to embark on his new journey in life.

Opiyo has been praised by his former boss Nation Sports Editor Elias Makori.

"Vincent Opiyo has positively responded to the spiritual calling to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) at their Novitiate in Aruch from next week. This is with the aim of reflection and eventually being ordained as a priest and a fisher of men. We pray for him," Makori said.

Opiyo's journey to priesthood begins in Arusha, Tanzania on May 25, and it will take him 13 year to complete.

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