Exclusive: Gaucho – Why Rosemary Odinga is my heroine
“I am here today politically because of Rosemary Odinga. She is my heroine. I celebrate her daily.”
These are the profound words of Bunge la Mwananchi President Calvince Okoth alias Gaucho.
Shedding light on her relationship with the first daughter of Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition leader, Raila Odinga, Gaucho has also spoken about how much the prolonged illness of Rosemary broke his heart.
“Every time I think of the far Rosemary has brought me, I’m moved to tears. She is the reason I am popular today. I attribute everything to her,” Gaucho said in a recent exclusive interview with Nairobi News.
Ironically, the genesis of their friendship was not that cordial. According to Gaucho, he met Rosemary back in 2013, at a time he had “barred” ODM from campaigning in Mukuru Kwa Njenga.
“After someone else was given an ODM ticket at my expense, I decided to paralyze the party’s operations in the area. To appease me, Rosemary sent two emissaries and I agreed to meet her. She asked me to meet her with my supporters at Uhuru Park,” Gaucho recounted.
“That was our very first encounter. I was accompanied by 200 of my supporters. By then Rosemary’s dad was the Prime Minister. She was amazed how I had many followers. She asked me to lead ODM’s team of volunteers in my constituency. I never believed her,” he said.
“She later invited me to Lavington to meet her parents and siblings. She sent a driver who picked me up in town. On that occasion I went with one of my friends. But when I arrived Mr Odinga was on his way to campaign. I met Ababu Namwamba and his team called Reloaded.”
Gaucho said Rosemary introduced him to her younger sister Winnie Odinga, her late brother Fidel Odinga and Raila Odinga Junior.
“She took me to her dad and that was the first time I shook Raila’s hand. It was incredible,” he recalled.
Gaucho and Rosemary later hooked up and organized a campaign in his constituency.
Also read: Gaucho shares ‘back to school’ plans
“We campaigned for Wiper aspirants and it was successful. After the campaigns, we went and ate githeri and mandazi. It was like a dream to me,” he said.
From then, their friendship grew.
“We were very close. She built me politically. By then I was just 20 years old. When she launched her campaign to vie for Kibra Parliamentary seat in 2016, I was among the top six people who addressed the massive crowd that day. This was my first time speaking before a crowd. I felt good and I knew I would make it politically one day.”
Gaucho said when he heard that Rosemary had dropped out of the race after falling sick he was heartbroken.
He describes Rosemary as a good friend and one who is accommodative and loving.
“She used to come to my house in the slums and we would happily eat a meal of omena,” Gaucho reflected
Also read: Calvince Okoth – Why I was nicknamed Gaucho