‘Password’ finds accidental fame, and maybe fortune

Jack Omondi Oluoch

Jack Omondi Oluoch.

Photo credit: Screenshot

Until April 14, Jackob Oluoch was known by his close friends and neighbours only as Ajuma.

He did not know that he would become famous just by uttering one word that has now become common at ODM party primary stations.

Wherever Mr Oluoch goes today, he is referred to as “Password”, an expression he used in a now viral video showing people being interviewed and expressing their disappointment about delays in the nominations.

He told Nation.Africa that he was expressing his anger at the slow progress in voting when the camera captured him and his image was streamed live on TV before being shared online.

Mr Oluoch lives in the informal settlement of Shauri Yako in Homa Bay town.

His father lives nearby and had accompanied him to Shauri Yako Primary School, where the video was captured.

When he said “password”, Mr Oluoch did not know that he would get instant fame.

He only realised that he had become well known because of the high number of phone calls he now gets.

On demand

He has since been approached by content creators who want to interview him on their YouTube channels and musicians who want him to feature in their videos.

Before he became famous, Mr Oluoch said, he was already known as Password, but only among close friends at work.

He said he got the name from his boss, who referred to him by it after he failed to cooperate.

"My boss was complaining that I was as complicated as a password. Only close friends knew the name," Mr Oluoch recalled.

The name was only amplified after it was expressed live on TV and shared on social media.

Mr Oluoch said he was angered by the slow progress in the ODM nominations and had to let out his fury through expressions.

Growing up in Shauri Yako requires resilience and determination.

It's every man for himself.

Mr Oluoch supports his family with casual jobs.

"My main job is draining septic tanks and other manual jobs that I can get. I am also a comedian but I have never found a platform to explore my talent," he said.

To earn his daily bread, he must wake up very early and look for available job opportunities before other youths get them.

His day usually begins at 6am.

Mr Oluoch is an ODM supporter and on the day of voting, he woke up much earlier with the hope that he would be the first in the queue to vote before proceeding to other activities.

"I had other activities to do during the day. I had no idea that I would spend hours waiting for the arrival of party officials," he said.

In the video, Mr Oluoch says he is expressing anger because the party had delayed delivering voting materials.

Though he was not the person speaking, Mr Oluoch said the interviewee was saying exactly what he wanted to say.

"Most of the things he was saying were exactly what was in my mind," he said.


According to the crowd at Shauri Yako Primary School, where the interview took place, some ODM officials delivered voting but the person who was to operate them was missing.

"An official told us that he could not operate the kits because he did not know the password. We did not understand why the gadgets were delivered when the persons to operate them were not given the password," Mr Oluoch said.

His father Charles Aende is also aware that his son has found a new name.

"I was also concerned about the password issue. I did not understand it at that time. I came to know what it is after neighbours nicknamed me Baba Password," he said.

Since the video went viral, the man is noticed whenever he walks in town.

During our interview with him, Mr Oluoch was planning to meet a local musician who plans to incorporate him in his music video.

"I am headed to the studio. We are recording a new song that has a message on new technology and issues about passwords," he said.

One of his friends, Calvince Otieno, said that after Mr Oluoch’s nickname went viral, it would be difficult now for them to call him by his real name.

"We call him Jack or Ajuma. But the name Password is more appealing and it will be his name from now henceforth," he said.