The deceased Serere County Legislator Patrick Okabe lived a simple life throughout his life cycle.
Through his book to his book titled Passion for God our reporter has managed to pick few insights of his life.
In his book Okabe writes that, he was raised in a religious family as his parents were devout Anglicans.
His father started work as a Head teacher at a local school but he didn’t stay long because he resigned for a new job of serving as a priest in the Anglican Church.
His parents depended on peasant farming to support their large family of 16 children. They planted many different kinds of food crops and cotton. They (Children) were all expected to pitch in to sell our crops to raise money for school fees.
When Okabe was ten years old, an arsonist set fire in the house he and his other siblings were sleeping and it was a miracle that non of them perished.
Okabe attended secondary school (equivalent to grades six through nine), which he completed in 1976.
He began his high school, but never finished, because his grades were too low. When he tried to go to other schools they didn’t want him either. At that point, he stopped trying and forgot about going to a secondary school.
Okabe tried to join a teacher training college but they denied him admission, because of my bad grades, by that time nobody wanted a student who was a failure.
- Okabe, sat for PLE in 1972 at Atiira Primary School and UCE in 1976 from Ayer College.
- He has an Advanced Diploma in Bible Theology Pentecostal Bible Training Centre. In 1992, he acquired a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Pan African Christian University. He also holds Master’s degree in Divinity.
He was very discouraged and almost gave up on life. He stayed at home, doing little and with believe that his hope for getting an education was gone.
To escape his depression, Okabe turned to reckless living but that brought more frustration and boredom.
His boredom and despair drove him out of his family’s home. Okabe hated doing nothing and feeling like the biggest loser on earth.
“I decided to walk the streets of Mbale day and night searching for a job. Nobody wanted my services and that made me feel more depressed. I was feeling so down to the point that I couldn’t go on any longer. I was exhausted from hunger as I hadn’t eaten for days and I had no place to go where I could sleep. My body ached so bad that it hurt to walk,” Okabe said in his book he published while alive.
God met him with his wife Christine (Deceased). According to Okabe in his book, his wife was full of kindness and goodness and wasn’t tainted by the bad vices he had allowed myself to fall victim to.
He said, her unwavering love for him had a stabilizing effect on his wild ways.
“We married in 1979, but I was not a true man of God. I didn’t deserve her I was the third child born of a large family of sixteen children.”
Okabe’s First Job
An idea popped into Okabe’s head. “Go to Serere Agricultural Research Station and ask for a job” He went to Serere’s offices and spoke to the manager.
He politely asked the manager if they had a job for him (Okabe) but he was shocked when he heard him (manager) say ‘yes’.
His job at the research station was to work as a casual laborer. He worked for long hours and completely forgot about God.
“He (God) didn’t matter to me. What mattered was earning money and spending it on myself and what I wanted. I lived a proud and selfish life, ignoring God just because I had a few bucks in my wallet. Why should I ask God for anything, money was available to me?”
Despite his reckless and fruitless living, God’s love and grace towards him continued to manifest in numerous ways, though, he couldn’t see it at work.
“In 1979, after working for two years on the government farm, and living my debauched life as a stiff necked rebel, I decided I was done with my party days, and I wanted to come home, just like the prodigal son in Jesus’ parable. I returned home full of shame. To my surprise, my parents welcomed me with open arms and they were not harsh and judgmental about where I had been and what I had been doing.”
His Other Life
Patrick Okabe founded Impact ministries in Mbale Uganda and through generous donations from churches in America have helped over 700 HIV/Aids, war ravaged, orphans and needy children are being given food, medical treatment, clothing, education a hope in the gospel.
Okabe also established a radio ministry (Faith FM Mbale 90.5 and also Voice of Serere in Serere 89.9) reaching millions of listener in Uganda with the gospel, he was actively involved in a fast growing indigenous church planning ministry where over one hundred and twenty new churches have been recently established.
Okabe (NRM) represented Serere County in the House of Representatives since his first election in 2016.
In 2021 he lost his NRM flag to Phillip Ouchor but later returned as NRM leaning candidate and managed to defeat Oucor and two independent candidates to return to parliament for his second term.
By the time of his demise, the local community in Serere had believed in his approach of bottom to top in mobilizing communities through his Patrick Okabe Foundation to embrace villages Saccos in abide to fight house hold poverty. His dream was to see Serere get uplifted from poverty.
He passed on in a nasty road accident that claimed his life and that of his wife living behind 5 children.