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Rosemary, the snail farmer

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Updated Sat, April 7th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3

ROSEMARY ODINGA is not only the Prime Minister's daughter but she also mentors boys on rugby and runs the only snail farm in Kenya. She opens up to SHIRLEY GENGA about her life, fascinating pastime and her daughter

Most people know you as the Prime Minister¡¯s daughter. But who is Rosemary Odinga?

People say I am a straight shooter and I do not beat about the bush. I give it to you as it is.

Tell us about your childhood

It was a unique experience. I was born and raised in Nairobi and I am the second born in a family of four.

My siblings are Fidel, Raila Jnr and Winnie. My dad was actively involved in the liberation struggle of this country and on several occasions he was arrested.

My fifth birthday was among the most memorable episodes. It was during the 1982 coup when my dad was arrested three days before my birthday on August 13.

ROSEMARY ODINGA, Prime Minister¡¯s daughter [Photo/Standard]

He had promised to buy me presents on that day but he never made it to the party because he had been arrested.

Because of my dad¡¯s involvement in the liberation struggle, in school everyone ¡ª from the teachers to the pupils ¡ª wanted to know who we were. By the time I was in high school at Loreto Msongari Girls I was used to the attention.

What kept you going through those trying moments?

My mom. She is a strong and prayerful woman. She would sit us down and explain to us what was happening.

The experience made me grow up fast and I started appreciating freedom and democracy at an early age.

What are some of the projects you are involved in?

I love farming. I even own a farm where I rear snails. It is the only snail-rearing farm in Kenya.

I also farm bamboo. Apart from that I am the rugby patron for Upper Hill Secondary School, so I get to mentor the boys. I am passionate about mentoring boys because I feel that for a long time they have been neglected in favour of girls. This creates an imbalance in the community.

Why snails?

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