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'King of Israel': Baba parts with Sh200,000 for a walking stick

Newsbeat & Tech

Opposition leader Raila Odinga shocked mourners when he paid Sh200,000 for a walking stick he was gifted by a choir at a funeral in Nyamira County.

Raila who was attending the burial of former West Mugirango MP Benson Kegoro at Menyenya Primary grounds in Borabu, was so thrilled by the Mission Brothers’ Ekegusii song titled Nyasae Agatoma Samuel o Yese (God sent Samuel to Jesse) that he rose from his seat and joined the singers.

 Azimio leader Raila Odinga joins Mission Brothers in a song. [Stanley Ongwae]

Raila took up the role of the Biblical David in the song and was anointed as the ‘King of Israel’.

Raila sang along as the singers placed their hands on his head as a symbolic anointment before lifting him and proclaiming that he was the anointed king!

As the performers concluded the song, ‘Samuel’ handed Raila a locally-made Kisii walking stick.

The surprise gift from Raila came after he finished addressing the mourners and even invited Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye to speak.

“That choir that came here and sang very well gave me this walking stick and carried me with respect. I won’t forget them. I want them to come here and I gift them. I have to repay their kindness. They have treated me with great respect…this is Sh200,000,” Raila said amid cheers from the mourners.

While mourners were left with questions about whether the group had made an earlier arrangement with Raila over the song and drama and the gift, the choir’s director Mike Maragia confirmed that they did not even know Raila was coming to the funeral; let alone getting involved in their song.

“We were just surprised when we saw Baba (Raila) rising and joining us in the stage to perform the song and he suited the role of David very fast,” the director said in an interview with The Nairobian.

Maragia said Raila was a godsend. He said Kegoro was planning to organise a fundraiser to buy them a bus.

“Mzee Kegoro had promised to organise a big fundraiser for us to buy a bus. We already had some cash but we needed more to buy a bus. The cash from Raila is such a huge boost,” Maragia said.

Raila was accompanied by his 2022 presidential running mate Martha Karua, Besigye and ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya.

Kegoro died in his sleep on November 18. He was the father of human rights advocate George Kegoro.

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