RECHO AKELLO has gone through a rough time right from childhood, doing odd jobs while in school to top up her university tuition. She overcame depression and stigma after being raped, but still made it in life. She told Fred Hidula her life story.
Akello is the first born of six children. She was born to Robert Coxson Obic, a police officer.
When she lost her mother at the age of six, life seemed unfair to her, having to deal with an unpredictable stepmother. Regardless, God has guided her through the tough times.
Akello studied at Arocha Primary School in Apac district, where she completed her Primary Leaving Examination (PLE). She joined Concerted College Ntinda, Kampala, for O’level.
However, at the age of 16 she was raped while on her way from the borehole. This experience almost shattered her whole life. She suffered depression and was forced to drop out of school for almost two years.
She says: “The stigmatisation and fear of being bullied by society led to my drop out. But I realised this was about my life; so, I picked up my broken pieces and made up my mind to go back to school.”
While she was out of school, Akello was involved in farming. She planted Soya beans, cassava, G-nuts, maize, sunflower and had greatly achieved in that field. This partly help her get back on her feet.
“My father was very supportive and he pushed me beyond all borders to achieve my dream. I remember when I had to ride a bicycle carrying him while looking for a school. He always told me that I am intelligent and brilliant and I can make it,” Akello says.
It is these words that changed her entire life.
She got back to Senior four after being out of school for two years. Akello says she only studied for one and a half months the whole of that year and sat for Uganda Certificate of Education (UCE) at Apac High school.
Because her stepmother had thrown away her PLE pass slip, she found difficulties in registering to do UCE exams.
She says: “I remember my head teacher registering me from UNEB offices on the last day.
But when results came out, I was among the best 10 and this was a great achievement for me.”
By the grace of God, a stranger, who she refers to as Tobama offered her a bursary for her A’ level education at St Julian High School, Gayaza, Kampala.
After completing senior six, she enrolled at Uganda Christian University (UCU) for a Bachelor of Laws, regardless of her financial situation at the time.
“I remember I was chased on the first day since I had not paid a minimum amount of Shs 1.2million, moreover I had to top up another Shs 1.3 million,” Akello says.
Her father had to take a loan of Shs 4 million, and with this, she cleared all requirements.
During the rest of the years at University, she remained disciplined and took on odd jobs as a maid and also worked in factories to raise tuition. She also always worked during holiday to earn more money.
Despite the emotional stress and depression she went through, she was awarded as the most persistent female student at campus. She graduated 0n December 18, 2020, with CGPA 4.2.
Akello currently works at Zahura and Company Advocates in Mukono, as Legal Clerk, and also enrolled at Law Development Centre (LDC), Mbarara campus in January this year.
She is excited to say Evangelist Lorraine Barnes from Virginia, USA, offered to pay her tuition for bar course at LDC.
While at University, she completely surrendered her life to Christ and got born again on October 9, 2016
She attributes her success story to God who gives her strength to keep moving.
She believes God’s power is unmeasurable to any circumstances, regardless of how bad they are. She also believes in being patient and waiting on God’s time to act.
Akello intends on preaching the Gospel and serving in Church because to her, serving God is a priority.
She also aspires to join politics to exhibit her leadership skills.
She also plans to start an organization, aimed at helping victims of sexual abuse and teenage mothers.
She wants to encourage and inspire young girls, especially rape victims that they can still rise and be better versions of themselves, and can still achieve whatever goal they want to achieve.