We are gathered here today in the memory of my brother, Fidel, so that together we may acknowledge and share both our joy in the gift that his life was, and the pain that his passing brings.
Fidel was more than just a brother to us. He was our protector, our unifier, a guiding light, family clown, and the disciplinarian when we were younger. If Fidel was not an Odinga, he would probably be a General in the Army. When we were kids he would make us stand at attention at the start of every news broadcast, (AD LIB) and make us march around the living room.
Fidel was dedicated to family, and had a special place in the hearts of his relatives. On the day of my wedding, he went to pick up Yvonne, and was insistent on in his words “not leaving without my brother’s wife”, despite the recalcitrance of the Kibukosyas and the Gachukias. Hid dedication to family even extended to him half-threatening a would-be boyfriend of his niece, Camille, further evidence of his being a family protector.
Through Fidel, we got to know a good number of our relatives, as he made a point of knowing all our cousins and relatives in Sakwa, Gem, and beyond.
To say that Fidel was a friend to many is an understatement. His diverse circle of friends enriched not just his life but also ours. We thank his friends for being his other families, and for the love and color you added to his life and ours.
Like most of us, Fidel was human and had his flaws. Indeed, we would be remiss if we portrayed him as a saint. One thing we can all agree on though, is that he had a big heart, at times to a fault.
The physical and emotional scars Fidel bore were a testimony to the fact that he loved life, and ate it with a big spoon. Be it from chasing Rosemary around the house in Kileleshwa and sliding into the glass door in the process, falling off the guava tree in Migori, and being rescued in the ambulance (which was a wheel-barrow) by Bill-o, to his later well documented escapades, Fidel only knew one speed.
Fidel was a trend-setter, as was evidenced by the fact that he was the only child in the family back in the 80s with a curly-kit. He was also the first kid in the neighborhood with a Chopper bicycle (with gears), and an Atari video-game. His love of toys and life tools extended to his adult life as evidenced by his passion for cars, watches, and as you now all know, licensed firearms.
Fidel was an avid Sports Fan, both Rugby and football, in particular the mighty Gor Mahia, and Arsenal. He would walk from the house to Nyayo Stadium when mum would refuse to drop him off, as she thought it would not be safe.
Lwam, thank you for being Fidel’s life, heart, soul, and strength. Thank you for continuing Fidels and the Odinga family line. Thank you for the being the light that you are. We will stand with you, and we will walk with you.
We will forever nurture and protect his legacy in the person of his son, Allay Raila Odinga.
Fidel, you have left large shoes to fill, literally, but We promise to continue carrying the torch and finishing your race.
Hatari, Dinof, Man Gidi, Obange, Gagolo, Shatabdi… we will miss you. We will miss your big hugs. We will always love you.
Mama gi baba kiki ywak
Nind gi kwe wuod nyar Gem.
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