- East Africa
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, celebrated his 77th birthday in a special way and revealed some unknown facts about his childhood.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on Friday, January 7, where the birthday celebrations were being held, the former Prime Minister explained to the crowd that graced his event why he chose to cut his birthday cake at exactly 11:47am.
Raila explained that 11:47am signifies the exact time he was born. He went on to reveal that immediately after he was born, he was given the name 'Onyango.'ODM leader Raila Odinga dancing alongside Kieni MP Kanini Kega and a local artist during his birthday party at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on Friday, January 7, 2022RAILA ODINGA'S TWITTER PAGE
The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development noted that before his mother passed on, he only used that name (Onyango) when referring to him.
"Today, there is one person I would pretty much like to appreciate, unfortunately she is not here. That is my mother. She endured a lot of pain," Raila stated.
"I was born at exactly 11:47am, the time we have cut my birthday cake. That means my name is Onyango. My mother gave me that name and all while she was still alive, she used to call me Onyango to signify the time I was born. That is why I always tell men that you must respect all women."
He appreciated his mum's efforts in raising him to become an upright citizen with immense contribution to the country's fight for democracy.
Raila's cake was also symbolic in a way, being a 5-tier cake. The cake represented different important phases Kenya has undergone since gaining independence in 1963.
The first tier of the cake represented the late President Jomo Kenyatta's reign from 1964 to his death in 1978. The second tier represented late former President Daniel Arap Moi who ruled for 24 years from 1978 to 2002.
The third tier represented President Mwai Kibaki's reign from December 2002 until April 2013, then the fourth one represented President Uhuru Kenyatta's time in power.
The last represented his fifth stab at the presidency expressing his confidence to clinch the August 2022 presidential election.
In his speech, Raila expressed the confidence in his administration to transform the country in all sectors.
"I have been to many countries and what I am saying is possible. We can transform this country and make it an industrialized one. We must change the way we do things and how we approach development in our country," he stated.
He extended an invitation to the youth to join his campaign trail as he starts making inroads in search of votes.
"I want to work with the youths of this country, I want all youths to participate and be in Baba’s army. In 5 years’ time, I can promise you a different Kenya. I have been the Prime Minister of this country and I know where the money is."
The event was attended by top political figures, business people, and different groups sharing his political ideologies. Those who did not attend took to their social media platform to wish him a happy birthday including Deputy President William Ruto.
"Happy birthday Jakom. May you be blessed with many more," the second-in-command wrote.ODM leader Raila Odinga arriving at the Bomas of Kenya for his birthday celebration on Friday January 7, 2022 Geoffrey Lutta, Kenyans.co.keRAILA ODINGA'S TWITTER PAGE