Napoleon Hill once said, “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”

There is no one more with that burning desire to see young boys succeed and materialize into respectable men in the society, than James Ouma. What started as a routine meeting of a group of 100 boys at the Nairobi Remand Prison, Industrial Area has turned into a charity that has continued to help families, reunite and find peace.

His is a story of bravery, heroism, compassion, responsibility, and most especially, an act of love. His foundation LifeSong Kenya is not just a call to action, it is also a prayer, a hope that everyone no matter how grave your mistakes have been in the past, deserves a second chance.

We talked to him, and this is what he had to say

Give us a brief profile of yourself.
I’m a born again Christian creative writer who is breaking boys out of prison through mentoring, coaching and positive masculinity.
Share something interesting about your self.
I get excited by buttons and it is the first thing I notice in a person’s appearance! I’m also very cheeky and creative. (So that’s where the @jimbuttons comes from! We were always curious about that!)
What was your first phone?
Motorola VV228e. It was grey and brown in colour and had a hideous antenna.
What attracted/ inspired you into blogging?
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer. I thought I needed to go to university in order to become one. However, when I discovered blogging I realized I could achieve my dreams of becoming a writer!
Tell us about the Lifesong Kenya Initiative.
Lifesong Kenya empowers male teens and exceptional young men who need a father figure, direction and second chance in life. Though we are more known for our work with at-risk youth in prison, we target all male teens.
Right now, we have been feeding 30+ families in response Covid-19 by providing food, medication and paying rent for some families.
What accomplishments are you proud of most?
Helping at-risk youth to reconcile with their families, police officers and the people they’ve wronged. Seeing a young person exit prison before the end of their prison sentence is an accomplishment that brings me the utmost pride.
The second accomplishment I am proud of is having cycled from Nairobi to Migori Town for the past two years to raise funds and create awareness about our work with exceptional young men.
Lastly, creating job opportunities and starting businesses with as little as KShs. 1500 is another accomplishment that I am proudest of. I look back at the things I have been able to achieve since I quit my job as a children’s TV producer in 2013 with lots of joy and fulfilment.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Decisive, compassionate, courageous.
What is your fav food, song, book, movie?
This is a tough one! My wife says that I can eat fish all day long and that’s probably true! My fav food is shrimps and sugar cane. Fav song is Luciano’s It’s Me Again Jah.
Fav book is The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz. Fav movie: Forrest Gump!
If you could time travel, where would you go?
Let me see…
If I could time travel, I would go back to the time when men used to hunt and fish for food and live in a cave. This fast life – fast cars, technology isn’t for me!
If you were not a blogger, what would you be instead?
My mom wanted me to be a teacher but that is not what I would be if I were not a blogger! Instead, I would be a musician or radio presenter and then I would blog about music. Therefore, I think I would still end up being a blogger.
Where do you see yourself, in five years?
In five years, I see myself as an authority in positive masculinity, published author and Clarity Life coach for male teens. I also envision Lifesong Kenya having a halfway house for exceptional young men who are in crisis and need to find their feet. This will include job creation and developing men who will treat themselves, women and girls with respect, love and honour.
Any interesting hobbies, obsessions?
I have 3 obsessions. First, sewing buttons and torn clothes for children. Secondly, cycling to raise funds and creating awareness about restorative justice for at-risk male teens in prison. Thirdly,  I am obsessed about working towards a better world for boys, their future wives and children.
Is there a quote/mantra you live by?
‘Do not say to your neighbour, “Go! Return tomorrow and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.’ – Proverbs 3:28
If you were a superhero, who would you be and why?
If I were a superhero I would be Professor Charles Xavier aka Professor X!
Just like Professor X who helps Mutants, I help exceptional young people who face stigma and have been written off by “normal” human beings through providing a safe haven where they learn how to master their powers and use those powers for the common good of all humanity. I am father-figure to them and no matter how rogue one becomes I still go out of my way to go after him with the idea that some good is still in this person.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
In 2016, I wanted to stop working with boys in prison and instead look for a paying job so I could provide for myself and my family. My wife told me to just follow my heart and do things that gives me the utmost joy. I followed that advice and today, both of us are having joy!
Well, James is such an inspiration! Read more about him and the work he does on his blog.
You can also find him on his social media platforms Twitter @thejimbuttons and on Facebook James Ouma. Also, go to the LifeSong Kenya Website to get information odonate to the initiative.