ODM party leader Raila Odinga and his wife Ida Odinga on Thursday evening celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in pomp and style at the Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi.
Ida, who was also celebrating her 73rd was chauffeured into the premise in a white stretch hummer written, “Happy Birthday H.E. Mama Dr. Ida Odinga.”
Odinga was waiting for her at the entrance and as a true gentleman, opened the door for her and stretched out his right hand.
Ida was handed a bouquet of red roses before being ushered into the hotel where guests were already seated.
Prince Inda and Akothee were part of the lineup of artistes but it was ‘Baba’ who stole the show when he sang Harry Belafonte’s Jamaica Farewell.
“Down the way where the nights are gay, And the sun shines daily on the mountain top I took a trip on a sailing ship And when I reached Jamaica I made a stop…But I'm sad to say I'm on my way, Won't be back for many a day, My heart is down, my head is turning around…I had to leave a little girl in Kingston Town,” he sang amid cheers from those in attendance.
In his speech, Raila praised Ida for being by his side throughout, saying he had to make sure he was back in the country to celebrate the day with his wife.
He described their five decades of marriage as joyous and thanked Ida for being the glue that held their family together.
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“Being married to you for five decades has brought me great joy, and celebrating this milestone with your birthday was awesome. I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
“Mama Ida, please accept my heartfelt gratitude for being not only the love of my life but also the bedrock and pillar of our family,” he said.
Other notable guests who showed up for the event included Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Siaya Governor James Orengo, Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo among others.
Former CAS David Osiany said the Odingas have guided them several times and have always supported them during difficult times.
“To Syombua Osiany and I, both Mama and Jakom have been more than friends. They have been like our parents, availing themselves in all our critical endeavours and memorable moments, giving guidance whenever we need it, standing with us in good and bad times, and being rock solid pillars in our journey,” he said.
Akothee, on her part, said she had learnt a lot from Ida, who has been like a mother to her.
“I have personally learnt a lot from you as a mother and a great mentor…Several times You have lifted my spirits when the walls of Jericho are about to break LOOSE.
“Thank you for taking me as one of your children and constantly guiding me on how to carry myself amidst crisis. The love I have for you is unmeasurable,” she wrote.