- David Otii Ochola
- Florence Ogenga Ochola
He was enrolled at Buganda Road Primary School in 1990 to join his two sisters Olivia and Diana as well as his brother Solomon.
Sam went to Greenhill Academy for his O levels. He is the only child who didn’t attend secondary boarding school in our family, because our mother didn’t want him to experience the hardship of boarding school, and because she was alone in the house, she wanted someone at home with her.
Sam started his A-level at Greenhill academy, but did not complete there, because he had to join mummy and Diana in London, where mum had taken Diana for medical treatment.
At that time, Olivia was at Makerere University, I went to Germany, and Sam at 17yrs was too young to be left alone.
In 2003 September Sam joined Lambeth academy London for a Foundation course in Engineering to prepare him for university entry. He successfully completed in 2005.
He was accepted in the University of Scarborough for a Music production course, but he took a gap year, because that was the year that Diana died. He re-applied for university entrance again and joined Loughborough University for a combined undergrad and Master’s degree program, which included work placement in a software company for one year. He completed all this in 2012.
While Sam was still a student, he had a part-time job as a cashier at Iceland, one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK. He continued to work at Iceland whenever he needed to make any extra money. He worked diligently, and with integrity, that he was always able to get a shift whenever he asked, because of his work ethic, and very good people skills.
In September 2012, He joined Lillian Baylis Secondary School as a junior teacher of technology. Teaching was not his choice, but mummy who delayed coming back home so that Sam could complete University needed him to be able to look after himself, which meant having a job, and she convinced him to take up the teaching position, because that meant that he would be independent.
He had an easy-going nature, and quickly settled in the job, which he enjoyed, and was very well loved by the students and staff. He got along so well with everyone, and a year later, the staff members threw him a surprise birthday party.
From Lillian Baylis, Sam decided that it was time for him to follow his passion and work at a job he really loved. He wanted to develop a career in music and went to the University of East London for a course in music production. He joined in 2017 and completed in 2019. At that time he took up a part time job as a crew member at the Royal Albert Hall, because that is where the A list musicians performed. He saw the job as a unique learning opportunity. He worked there until 2020 when the theatre closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Even during the lockdown, he was still earning money from the government.
During the lockdown he continued with what he loved, making music at home. His desire was to launch an album, and he spent many hours working on his music, which we will never hear.
Sam was also very good at handling money, and always had savings which he was happy to share with his family.
When mummy was ready to come home, I bought her a car, and she needed the money to ship it home. Sam had the money, and shipped it home for her. Even though I had a job, he surprised me with a 50 pound gift once or twice. He also occasionally sent money to mummy while she was here.
Samuel Ochola was born on 08.05.1984 as the last-born child of my parents David and Florence Ochola. Being the last born meant he enjoyed a lot of attention of all his siblings and cousins. Unfortunately in 1994 when Sam was 10 years old, our dad suddenly passed away. Samuel and our father shared a very special bond, and loosing daddy was a confusing, crushing, excruciating and painful experience for him.
What can I possibly say about Sam that would do him justice? It would feel strange to stand up here and talk about his many virtues. He was quite a giant, big, dark and strong but extremely gentle, quiet and shy.
At the tender age of 16, Sam, his sister Diana and his mother started a new life in the UK and I, Solomon moved to Germany in 2003 to start my studies.
When Sam moved to London, a new household was formed with our mother and Diana. Sam stood with mummy, took on all repairs in the home. He was responsible for running all the errands. He and Diana became like twins. They were best friends sharing jokes with one another. Mummy was devastated by Diana’s death and Sam pleaded with mummy to be strong for him because he too needed her. Sam always said he would never have a child. He decided at a very young age not to have children. Seeing his mother’s suffering made him sure of this fact. Having lived in London for a few years, Sam ceased to think like an African man. He was totally independent. He had taken on the white man’s culture. He returned very briefly in 2017 to Uganda from Nairobi where he had gone to attend a friend’s wedding. He stayed in Kampala for one week and decided to return “home”. All his neighbors in London spoke very highly of him.
Sam left his job as a teaching assistant to pursue a career in the music industry. He dedicated his time and efforts to religiously follow this dream. He took on a part time job as a sound technician at the Royal Albert Hall in London. In March 2020, the covid pandemic struck with a force and the nature of our world as we have known it has been changed forever. Families have been torn apart; jobs have been lost and loved ones have been lost.
Samuel died suddenly in his sleep on the 4th January, 2022 with a Bible by his side which shows that he demonstrated his love for God all the way until the end – a short life that was lived in dedication and sacrifice to his family. Sam planned to return to Uganda in 2 years’ time, but we cannot know what God’s plan is for us. What we can do is to live out our lives as best as we can with purpose, with love and with joy. Sam has gone to be with his father and his sister now, guided by his faith and by the light of those that he has loved and lost.
And to quote Maya Angelou’s famous poem
“And when great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly. Spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. Diana existed. Sam existed. We can be. We must Be and be better. For they existed.”
Vigil will be held at their home in Muyenga, Kampala on Thursday 03rd February 2022.
Burial will take place at their ancestral home in Muyenga, Kampala on Friday 04th February, 2022 starting with a Service at 12:00noon.
Informed are: Relatives, Friends and In-laws.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN ETERNAL PEACE