Or as I have always called him "Spoon". Someone told me that's what his name translates to, and the nickname has stuck.
Ojiko is a real character - always laughing, smiling and animated. As we walk through the community, everyone knows him and he shares a joke or hug with person after person. Often, we walk on ahead as we lose him again visiting friends as he goes. I asked him about this - how everyone knows him. He said “I’ve lived here a long time and I’ve been a good boy.” It is clear he is very well liked by all.
Ojiko is single, but helps to care for his extended family. Recently he was able to save enough to move his mother from a grass home, into a strong, cement home. What a gift!
Ojiko is known as the “brass expert” - if I have a design I’m interested in to do with brass, I always want to get Ojiko’s input on it. As one of his co-workers said about him, “He is good at understanding. If he needs to do something over again, he doesn’t get annoyed. He is creative and quickly understands designs.” Ojiko is hardworking and the group has a lot of confidence in him on production. He takes his job seriously and assists in quality control.
One thing I’ve always noticed about Ojiko is how he keeps an eye on everyone. The group as a whole does not like to see me walking alone in the slums and there’s always a couple people who come along with me. On this last trip, Ojiko took my daughters under his wing, often walking hand in hand (as is common in many African cultures) with my girls to make sure they were safe. It is nice to have brothers keeping an eye on us all. Especially one as well liked and respected in their community as Ojiko is.
Ojiko is JustOne of our artisan partners that we are thankful to work alongside in Kenya!