High hopes in Kisumu slum where Raila Odinga, his father once lived

Raila Odinga (right) spent his formative years as a pupil at Kisumu Union Primary School between 1954 and 1955. [File, Standard]

Clinton Owino, 30, says his greatest wish is for Raila to help the young men and women from the estate to get jobs if he wins the presidency.

He says he learnt about Raila's stay in the estate through his relatives.

Owino believes that with a Raila presidency, the slum will see a remarkable transformation.

"We always hope he will remember where he came from," he says.

East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP Oburu Oginga, who is Raila's elder brother, says when their father resigned in 1948 as a teacher in Maseno, they moved to Kisumu and settled in the area.

They stayed in Lower Kaloleni estate, which bordered Kisumu cemetery, commonly known as Kaburini, and later moved to Upper Kaloleni.

"We lived in Upper Kaloleni until I moved out of the country to study in Russia," he recalls.

"We studied at Kumolo, which changed its name to Kisumu Union Primary School, until my father decided to take us to study at our rural home in Bondo in the early 50s."

Residents of the informal settlement are optimistic that the ODM leader will win the presidency and believe the house where he spent his early years improves their connection with him.

A house at Kaloleni estate in Kisumu County. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

"We have children who have gone to school up to university, but are idling around because they are jobless. We earn very little and are not able to take care of our children, a majority of parents living here are poor," he says.

"We expect him to generally change the lives of our young people all over the country. The past governments have done little to make their lives better. If you walk around this area you will understand why they really need those jobs."

The young men and women say a Raila presidency means they will have better lives, job opportunities, school fees to join universities and food.

They say a majority of them spend their days idling within the estate, smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol but are now upbeat that they will have better lives in the next few years with the next government.

Elder Odungi Randa, who was Jaramogi's personal assistant, says he is confident that Raila will change the lives of his people if he wins the presidency.

He says growing up, Raila was a disciplined, kind and bright boy who followed in the footsteps of his father.

"He knows the conversations we have had about the problems our people are going through. I know he is a man who listens and so our people should not be worried, he will deliver and change their lives. We have waited for a long time for this to happen," Randa says.