Man Enjoys Being Bishop and Morgue Attendant at the Same Time

  • A collage of a cross and a dead body in a morgue Twitter
  • A man in Bondo, Siaya County lives an uncommon and perplexing life by having two jobs of serving as a bishop and a morgue attendant at the same time.

    Stakus Owino is a servant of the Lord but is usually found at the Bondo Sub-County Hospital mortuary during the weekdays.

    He has worked as a mortuary attendant for the past 10 years.

    One may easily be confused by seeing him on a Sunday without his maroon uniform, hand gloves, and white gumboots but with a full bishop’s regalia while sitting at the front of the Israel Assembly Church.

    Owino while at work while wearing a maroon uniform [Courtesy: The Standard- Isaiah Gwengi]

    He is the presiding bishop of the church.

    In a feature by The Standard, Owino divulges, “I love the word of God. It gives me the motivation to work. On weekends, I create time to go and preach.”

    He also ensures to carry his Bible whenever he reports to work and keeps it in his small office at the morgue.

    Whenever he has free time, waiting for the next body to be brought into the morgue, he goes through his Bible and prepares for his coming summons at the church.

    Owino, who is a father of three, believes that his two jobs are interconnected. He believes that while one involves winning souls of people for heaven, the other ushers them to the place with dignity.

    According to Owino, being a worker at the mortuary, similar to being a bishop, is a worthy calling.

    He further states, “As a child, I feared the dead, I could not even view a body.”

    He, however, continues to inform that by his service, he has heard a student indicate, “When I grow up I want to be a mortuary attendant,” which makes him proud.

    Owino began his career while serving as a cleaner at Kisumu’s Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, earning a salary of Ksh6,000. At some point, he found himself given duties of cleaning the morgue.

    He stated that even though he was scared, he really needed the money. The mortuary superintendent, however, helped him overcome the fear of the dead.

    “He helped me overcome my fear, he would invite me to watch as he worked with the bodies, soon I was interested,” he recounts.

    Owino then took a three-month course of mortuary management certificate, which made him forfeit half of his salary at the time. It took three years to finish the course at Nairobi University’s Chiromo Campus due to financial constraints.

    He went for an internship at the Bondo Sub-County Hospital and the administration was impressed with his service so much that they would not let him go thereafter.

    The bishop faced many challenges with the job such as his in-laws having trouble accepting him and even convincing his wife to divorce him.

    Churchgoers at the Israel Assembly Church describe their bishop as a highly spiritual man. None of them seems to have a sense of consideration for his other job.

    One worshipper even stated, “I have known him to be a man who preaches on resilience, the kind of job he does on the sidelines does not bother me.”

    “I could not imagine how he was going to preach to us and also work in a mortuary. But now I find his sermons inspiring,” stated another member of the church.

    Stakus Owino presiding over a church service. [Courtesy: The Standard]
    Owino displaying a good performance certificate [Courtesy: The Standard- Isaiah Gwengi]