The Luo say “Jowi mager ema ichuogo piene” (the shield is crafted from the skin of the most ferocious buffalo). This saying applies to the life and times of Kenya’s progressives, chief among whom was none other than Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, the first Vice President of Kenya, founder of KPU, FORD Party and a house of other political mufti he took shelter in as he walked through fire in the fight for the dream of a really free Kenya, a dream he captured in his partial autobiography NOT YET UHURU (1968).
Now a close confidant and aid, Journalist Odinge Odera, has written a book on Jaramogi’s fully journey titled My Journey with Jaramogi. I, as a lay pundit, who has struggled with the “psyche” of Kenyan politicians in general (and Luo politicians in particular) as fictional characters in the novels “THE WISE ONE OF RAMOGILAND” and “THE LUODREAMERS’ ODYSSEY: FROM THE SUDAN TO AMERICAN POWER,” and poetry, RATENG’ AND BRIDE, appreciate Mr. Odinge’s extraordinary effort. Jaramogi’s story needed to be told by a fellow Luo who understood Ker Odinga’s tongue and thought process. Mr. Odinge Odera is one such person. Thank you, Sir.
Below is PM Raila Odinga’s words during the launch of Mr. Odinge Odera’s timely work on Jaramogi.