|Real Name/Full Name
|Raila Amolo Odinga
|Nick Name/Celebrated Name:
|Date Of Birth/Birthday:
|7 January 1945
|79 years old
|Father – Jaramogi Oginga Odinga
Mother – Mary Juma Odinga
|Maranda High School
|University of Nairobi, Leipzig University, and Magdeburg University
|Fidel, Winnie, Rosemary and Raila Odinga Jr.
Raila Amolo Odinga is very popular among many Kenyans and even outside. He has been a politician and was the Prime Minister of Kenya from 2008 to 2013. He has been the leader of the opposition since 2013. He was the Member of Parliament of Langata from 1992 to 2007. Earlier, he was the minister of energy from 2002 to 2002 and then minister for Roads, Public Works, and Housing between 2003 and 2005.
Biography and Early Life
Raila Odinga was born on 7 January 1945 at the Anglican Missionary Society Hospital in Maseno, Kisumu in Nyanza Province. His father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, was the first vice president of Kenya under Jomo Kenyatta’s reign. His mother was Mary Juma Odinga. His brother, Oburu Odinga, is also a politician like him.
Focussing on his background, Odinga must have received one of the best education during his time. His father was a prominent man and was among the enlightened Kenyans during that time. He studied at Kisumu Union Primary and later at Maranda High School but was transferred in 1963 by his father to study in Germany. While in Germany, he went to Herder institution for two years and was trained in the German language as part of the philological faculty.
In 1965, he received a scholarship to attend Technical school, Magdeburg, which is the current day Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg. He graduated in 1970 with a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and welding. He returned to Kenya after his graduation, and the following year, he established Standard Processing Equipment Construction Erection Ltd. This company was later renamed East African Spectre. The company was known for manufacturing liquid petroleum gas cylinders. He was appointed the manager of group standards in 1974 but was promoted to the position of Deputy Director to the company in 1978. However, he was detained in 1982 and had to step down from his position.
Personal Life: Wife, Kids, etc.
Odinga is a family man and is married to Ida Odinga. The couple is blessed with four children. Their firstborn son, Fidel Odinga, was named after Fidel Castro. He was born in 1973 but passed away in 2015. Rosemary is heir send child born in 1977, followed by Raila Jr, who was born in 1979. The last born is Winnie Odinga, born in 1990. She was named after Winnie Mandela.
Odinga was raised in a Christian way and was baptized in the Church Missionary Society (CMS). He later gave his life to Christ and became a follower of All Saints’ Cathedral, Nairobi.
Odinga’s professional career has been revolving around politics all through his life. He suffered seven months of house arrest alongside his father, Oginga Odinga, after evidence that they were involved in a failed coup attempt against former president Daniel Arap Moi in 1982. Many died during that coup, including several foreigners. Odinga was later charged with treason and was detained for six years without trial. He was released in February 1988 but was rearrested in September over pro-democracy and human rights agitation. After his release in 1989, he was arrested again alongside Kenneth Matiba and the former Nairobi Mayor, Charles Rubia. After his release in 1981, he fled to Norway. At this time, the increasingly corrupt Kenyan government was trying to assassinate him without success.
He returned to Kenya in 1992 and joined the Forum of the Restoration of Democracy which was led by his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga which; he was appointed the vice-chairman. After the party split to Ford Kenya led by his father and Ford Asili by Kenneth Matiba, he became Ford Kenya’s Deputy Director of Elections. He later took over Langata’s parliamentary seat after Philip Leaky of KANU.
After the death of his father, Michael Wamalwa Kijan took over the chairmanship of FORD Kenya, but Odinga challenged him. He resigned from the party and joined National Development Party.
His first time to vie for the position of president was in the 1997 General Elections, where he became third after Moi and Mwai Kibaki. He, however, retained the position of Langata MP. He made a surprise move by supporting Moi to the point of joining his much-hated Kanu Party.
His next major political involvement was in the 2007 presidential elections, where he was a major candidate contesting against Mwai Kibaki. His party was Orange Democratic Party as the head. After the announcement of the 27th December 2007 presidential elections by the then Electoral Commission, they declared Mwai Kibaki as the winner. With Raila not convinced, he rallied alongside James Orengo and Prof. Nyongo, which led to violence.
In the next presidential elections of 2013, he ran for the presidency again. During this time, Kibaki was to hand over power to the new President-Elect. His main rivals were Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, who had been convicted by the ICC at Hague over the 2007 election violence. Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula joined hands with Odinga for the seat while Ururu and Ruto joined their parties together. After the poll, Ururu was declared the winner.
Odinga is not a man to give up easily when it comes to power. He ran for the presidency seat for the 2017 presidential elections. After Ururu was announced a winner a second time, Odinga was rejected, which led to a repeat of the election after the electoral body, IEBC, and the Supreme Court reached that conclusion. However, before the election, which was to be held on 26 October, Odinga withdrew, but the election was still held. After a second defeat, Odinga staged a swearing ceremony which was held on 30th January 2018 in Nairobi as the People’s president.
In a bid to make peace between Uhuru and Odinga, they launched a handshake to unite Kenyans. They finally came up with the Building Bridges Initiative, popularly known by many as BBI. Although Odinga would say, “No one can Stop Reggae,” it was finally stopped in 2021 after a court ruling.
Odinga has been honoured with different awards. In 2008, The University of Nairobi honoured him with an honourary degree of Doctor of Laws. He later received an honorary degree from Florida A&M University in the USA in 2012. He also has a Doctorate of Leadership in Social Development from the Limkkwing University of Creative Technology in Malaysia, which he received in 2012.
Net Worth, Salary & Earnings of Raila Odinga in 2024
Odinga and his family have accumulated a huge sum of money from the political career many of his family members has been involved in. he has an estimated net worth of $50 million. His wealth has come from his political career as well as business endorsements. Apart from vying for the presidency, he has also served as the Prime Minister from 2008 to 2013. He has also served in the parliament as the High Representative for Infrastructure Development at the African Union Commission in 2018.
Some Interesting Facts You Need To Know
- He is commonly known as “Baba,” as many know him.
- He has vied for the presidency four times, that is in 1997, 2007, 2018, and 2017 without success.
- He served as an MP at the same time as his father between 1992 and 1994.
- Odinga is known to be a leading force in the process of democratization in Kenya.
Raila Odinga is one of the strongest political leaders in Kenya and even in Africa. Though he has failed a total of four times, he remains a great influence on the political system of Kenya. He has been the opposition leader for many years, and this has helped to shape the ruling government. He is not only an influence for people from the lake region, but many other Kenyans describe him as a forward-thinking and strategic leader.