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ELECTION 2022

Life and times of Fidel Odinga

COUNTIES
By ROSELYNE OBALA | Jan 5th 2015 | 2 min read

NAIROBI: The death of Fidel Odinga has dealt a big blow to the family of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Fidel, 41, had established businesses and cut a niche for himself among his peers.

He was a beacon of hope for the youth who admired the community projects he pioneered.

Word has it that he was destined to plunge into the murky waters of politics come 2017, in what some said would be a move to succeed his father and keep the Odinga dynasty alive.

According to friends, Fidel was soft-spoken, kind hearted and outgoing, never seeing faults in his friends or family members.

Fidel attended Consolata Primary in Westlands before proceeding to Mbeji Academy in Siaya County for his High School education from 1989 to 1992, a school which belonged to the late Thomas Ogembo, founder of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology.

He then proceeded to India for his post-secondary education, where he stayed for one year before transferring to Washington DC in the US.

He completed his studies and continued living and working there. He returned home just before the 2002 elections, after which Narc formed the Government.

He was married to an Eritrean beauty Lwam Gatchew Bekele, who has stayed clear of the limelight since their union on July 28, 2012.

POLITICAL ROLE

Fidel touched the lives of many who crossed his path, not only by the virtue of being a politician’s son, but on his own accord.

He divorced his first wife Veronica Wanjiru over what were viewed as ‘irreconcilable’ differences. Fidel tied the knot for the second time with his Eritrean lover in a low-key ceremony, which took place at the Orthodox Church in Nairobi.

Unlike his much-publicised 2007 wedding ceremony, which was full of pomp and colour, his second one was a closely guarded and invites-only ceremony.  Fidel, who kept his family away from the public eye, leaves behind a one-year-old son.

The former Prime Minister’s son has stayed close to his father, playing a critical role in his campaigns as well as learning the political ropes.

Contrary to expectation, he has stayed clear of confrontation pitting his father against family and various leaders.

By virtue of being the son of a former PM, he has won admiration. He was an easygoing person, who never found fault with his friends.

His life has been characterised by a close association with his father and the socialising he did with friends.

Fidel’s cousin Elijah Oburu affirmed that he had good relationships with people. “He was always readily available and would bail out friends and family members in their time of need. The Odinga family has lost a generous person. He was always minding the welfare of others,” noted Oburu.

Fidel was found dead in his Karen home yesterday. Police are investigating the cause of death of the youthful businessman.

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