Working as prison officers is not the kind of job that Mr Amos Misik and Mr Julius Adero wanted to do.
But the two ended up spending over three decades in prisons, not as prisoners, but as officers entrusted with the running of the correctional facilities.
Mr Misik and Mr Adero have now retired as Nyanza Regional Prisons Commander and deputy respectively.
Both Mr Misik and his deputy have “left prison” after 38 and 40 years of service respectively.
Retiring six years after he was appointed the Nyanza regional boss, Mr Misik has been replaced by Mr Dixon Mwakazi who vowed to continue with the good job his predecessor has done.
Mr Misik joined the Prisons Department as a second cadre cadet in 1980.
Speaking during a farewell party held for them at Kisumu’s Public Service Club, the two prison bosses left their audience in laughter.
Mr Misik confessed that the job which he did for over three decades was one that he never desired at first. But going for it turned out to be the best decision he made in life, he said.
“I never wanted to work in prisons. I kept on applying for jobs, went for interviews but strange enough, I never succeeded in any of my applications,” said Mr Misik.
He, however, said that his decision to stay in prison service proved to be one of his best.
“Years later, I have no regrets about taking up this job. It has made me view life differently and I loved it,” said Mr Misik.
He called for corporation between the senior officers and their juniors and also urged them to use the money they are paid well and save some of it.
“When you are serving here save some amount and when you are about to retire build your home so that you have somewhere to go when you call it a day,” Mr Misik advised his juniors.
His juniors described him as generous, loving and one who was time conscious.
Others said he was a trainer and counsellor to the junior officers as well as a mentor.
Mr Adero, just like his retiring boss, said he initially never want to serve in prison as it was viewed as a career for the uneducated youth in the society then.
“When I married, prisons were different because during that time we were used to those who had taken over from colonial prison officers who were ruthless. Not many people fancied the job,” said Mr Adero.
He recalled an incident where a woman asked him what he did for a living and when he revealed that he was a prisons officer, the woman was shocked and wondered why he chose to do such a job.
He pointed out that senior officers then never liked nor accommodated young educated officers.
But Mr Adero said that current, the prison service has been transformed and many people appreciate it.
He said that currently, pass out parades attract a huge attendance comparable to university graduation ceremonies where relatives and friends turn up to celebrate with those graduating.
“As I retire, I have no regrets because I am leaving the service when it is a desirable one. This job has taught me tolerance, time keeping, resilience and made me a jack of all trades,” said Mr Adero.
He had a word for the young officers who are still in the service.
He asked them not to be jealous of each other but instead love and wish good for one another.
“Always be happy for one another and never lack sleep because of something someone else has that you don’t,” he said.
During the farewell party, families and friends of the two bosses described them as good people.
Mr Adero’s wife Roselyn Kwama confirmed that at first, her husband never wanted to be a prisons officer.
“My husband never wanted to work in prison. But I think God had different plans for him and here we are he is retiring after working for 40 years,” said Mrs Adero.
She expressed her joy, saying that she will now have more time with her husband.