Raila Odinga

ODM party leader Raila Odinga speaks during a church service at Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) St. John Mwimuto on January 9, 2022.

| Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Raila’s 77th birthday: Parallels with Biden, lessons in losses and grit

What you need to know:

  • Both Biden and Raila joined politics raring to go and ready to conquer at relatively early ages and soon found pitfalls and pratfalls. 

  • The two men have both lost their sons: Beau Biden died aged 46 and Fidel Odinga died at the age of 42.

“‘But Dad, look at me. Look at me. I’m going to be okay no matter what happens. I’m going to be okay, Dad. I promise you.’ I was jolted by the realisation that my son was beginning to make peace with his own death. Then he leaned across the table and put his hand on my arm. ‘But you’ve got to promise me, Dad, that no matter what happens, you’re going to be all right. Give me your word, Dad, that you’re going to be all right. Promise me, Dad.’ ‘I’m going to be okay, Beau,’ I said, but that wasn’t enough for him. ‘No, Dad,’ he said. ‘Give me your word as a Biden. Give me your word, Dad. Promise me, Dad.’ I promised”.


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