Kibera Father Emerges Top in Global Competition

Yoga trainer Dickens Omondi Odhiambo
Yoga trainer Dickens Omondi Odhiambo

A Kibera father of one was announced as one of the winners of the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards that is supported by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

23-year-old Dickens Omondi Odhiambo, who is a yoga coach in Kibera was recognised for his work with the Africa Yoga Project.

In a statement, Beyond Sport noted that Odhiambo's passion for driving social change in his community is what set him apart from other shortlisted individuals.

Yoga tyrainer Dickens Omondi Odhiambo
Yoga trainer in Kibera Dickens Omondi Odhiambo

“This award is given to individuals who have shown dedication and courage in using sports, to improve their communities that have stood up against injustice and discrimination, often at great personal risk,” part of the statement read.

Dickens has used sports to transform the lives of many young people in Kibera where he teaches yoga. He has volunteered with NGO Shining Hope for Communities, Carolina for Kibera, Plan International and I Choose Life Africa, among others.

"Despite the numerous challenges, Dickens is an outstanding community leader who has demonstrated striking resilience and is determined to re-write his story," the organisation stated.

Growing up in the sprawling neighborhood of Kibera, Odhiambo did not have time to rest let alone play. Along with his two brothers, he was forced to join his mother in the streets to hawk groceries, denying him ample time to study.

"I did not have time to play as a kid. I would leave school, drop my bag and rush to town to sell groundnuts, and I would be back home at 10 p.m. I did not get a chance to be a child; I feel like I was exposed to adulthood so early.

"What pains me most is that my brothers dropped out of school because they could not cope doing business and staying in school at the same time," Odhiambo recalled.

Kibera yoga trainer Dickens Omondi Odhiambo
Kibera yoga trainer Dickens Omondi Odhiambo

The young coach has worked with numerous youth groups in initiatives around sports and arts.

He has been involved in community initiatives as a volunteer with a number of local and international community-based and non-profit organizations as a peer educator, coach, trainer, and mentor.