Five things to know about Winnie Odinga as she formally joins politics
Winnie Odinga is not a new face in Kenya’s political sphere.
She’s braved herself and tirelessly supported her father, Kenyan political icon Raila Odinga, on the public front and was the most noticeable figure within the Azimio campaign team leading to the August 2022 polls.
Her impending nomination as the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) lawmaker now thrusts her into the political limelight as she formally prepares to join the active political scene.
Here are a few things to know about her.
1. Last born in Raila’s household – Winnie is the fourth-born child of Raila and Ida Odinga. The 32-year-old was named after the late Winnie Mandela- a South African apartheid heroine and ex-wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela.
In an interview with Nation, She said: “When I was about 11, she gave me Winnie Mandela’s book My story, to help me understand whom I was named after, and even though the book was above my years, I read every word and was completely enamoured by her strength, determination, vision, and resilience.”
2. Closest to her parents – She resembles her dad and is known to be his favourite child. “I love being my father’s daughter. Nobody gets me as he does.” She is known to accompany her dad in most of his political adventures.
3. Graduate of Political Science – She studied at Rusinga primary School, and Brookhouse High school. She then pursued Political Science at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA.
4. Raila successor – She has long been considered her father’s successor on the political scene, at the very least at the Odinga family level. The Odingas had initially settled on Fidel, Raila’s first born son as the political successor but he died suddenly in 2015. Second-born Rosemary was second on the list of successors but she fell ill, lost her sight, and has been on treatment for the past three years.
5. EALA MP – She will most likely be approved to serve as Eala MP for the next four years, replacing her uncle Oburu Odinga, Raila Odinga’s elder brother, who served in the role for the past five years. The East Africa Assembly is in Arusha and Winnie is expected to assist in legislating laws that will help in uniting the East African community through trade and other forums. She is also expected to contest for the Kibra constituency seat in the August 2022 polls.