Home POLITICS How Raila Odinga was cursed by his father Oginga Odinga

How Raila Odinga was cursed by his father Oginga Odinga


Raila Odinga is the most powerful, celebrated and most decorated politician in Kenya’s history. This is true despite him not having been Kenyan president for five times he has tried to be. He is the most powerful due to his massive and fanatical following across the country for years and he is most decorated for his numerous achievements and struggles for Kenyan politics.

However, everyone has been wondering why a person of Raila’s caliber is unable to become Kenyan president despite his unconditional love an following he get from Kenyans. This has led to many peole coming up with a lot of narratives to explain why Odinga might not be Kenya’s president. Apart from the obvious reasons such as his votes being stolen or rigged and him not willing to participate in the rigging scheme, there are claims that his father cursed him.


The story goes that it was in 1992 when Oginga Odinga held a party meeting at City Stadium to choose the next party leader of FORD Kenya. Raila who was eyeing the opportunity to succeed his father knew already that his father had a different opinion of choosing someone else who would Lea the party and làter hand over to Raila. This Raila was not okay with and so he planned a parallel group of supporters to go and disrupt the meeting.

It is said that there was a standoff between the father and son over the party leadership. Despite his father asking him to cool down, Raila insisted on ascending as the new party leader. This led his father to pronouncing a ‘curse’ on him that he would never become Kenyan president till his death. He told him how he himself (Oginga Odinga) had fought both Kenyatta and Moi but still hadn’t become president. After two years, in 1994, Oginga Odinga died without lifting the said curse from Raila.

According to many, this might be true due to the fact that Raila has tried five times to be Kenya’s president but has never made it. However, it is also undisputable fact that Raila has proven more than once that he won but his votes were manipulated and rigged in favor of another candidate. Therefore, it is not 100% true that the ‘curse’ has been denying him the presidency but also infiltrated Kenyan systems where vote rigging and manipulation take place openly and then being justified by court systems.

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I am a writer, an author, communication expert, a linguist, Kiswahili specialist and media enthusiast whose ambition is to give media and journalism a different and new perspective. I hold a B.A degree in Kiswahili and Communication from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, CUEA.