Quitting one’s job is considered a risky move, especially at a time when thousands of Kenyans are jobless. However, some who make well-calculated moves have dared and excelled.
In a remarkable shift of career trajectories, Quentin Amendi Ondago decided to trade the cockpit for the garage, pursuing his true passion for reviving classic cars.
Ondago revealed why he made the bold choice to leave behind an aviation career and embark on a journey of automotive restoration.
He also narrated how his passion for cars emanated from a young age, owing to road trips with his uncle.
A photo of Quentin Amendi Ondago speaking to KTN Home on October 20, 2023.
“What gives me joy in life is relationships, friends I have, the family and God gives me strength every day to this job. I’ve liked cars since I was a child. I used to like my uncle’s Volkswagen Beetle because it had a manual transmission. Since then, I began liking cars,” he noted while speaking to KTN Home.
The aviation expert explained that he wanted to be associated with cars – joking with his mother that he wanted to be a tout.
“When I was a kid I would tell my mother that I wanted to be a tout. But she insisted that I choose aviation. I studied and practised aviation, but I gravitated back to cars because there’s something in it that’s just amazing.”
While following his mother’s passion was not his forte, he reluctantly agreed. Throughout his career, he became a trained pilot and worked part-time as an aviation manager at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. He later shifted to work at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
Despite working as an aviation expert, Ondago stated that he felt a gap in his life. In order to change his circumstances, he decided to make a life-changing decision by switching careers. He thus relocated back to Kenya and focused on classic cars.
“I got a Mercedes Benz 1969 to drive around. I fixed it and drove it around. This led to many people wondering about the classic car. I realised that there was a lucrative business in this. We ended up having classic cars as a family, exchanging with each other from time to time, and that’s how it began.
Over time, he has restored several cars, including Mercedes Benz W115, W108, Peugeot 504, VW Beetle and Land Rover Defender.
He noted that his main goal is to use his knowledge in aviation to restore a plane to good condition. “I’ve not seen planes in different colours, with a subwoofer at the back. So that’s my ultimate goal,” he noted.
A photo of a white Peugeot 504.