By Prudence Minayo
Winnie Odinga (born on March 6, 1990) is the youngest child of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Mama Ida Odinga. The fiery and well articulated young lady was named after the late Winnie Mandela- a South African apartheid heroine and ex-wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela. At the age of 11, her mother gave her the autobiography of the woman she was named after. This gave her a lot of insights and along with other books shaped her perspective on life.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
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Winnie went to Rusinga School followed by Brookhouse High School. She proceeded to the University of Philadelphia where she got a degree in International Business and Corporate Communication.
While still in school, she started a photography business.
In an interview with The Standard, she said that she works as her father’s bodyguard, briefcase carrier, transport companion and even driver if need be.
Many times, the 32-year-old has been asked whether she would follow her father’s footsteps in the murky world of politics. Her answer has always been on the contrary, stating that she does not believe in a career in politics but rather in people who choose to be politicians because they see a gap they can fit in. They see a need in society which they can help solve.
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In 2017, she was a pillar in her father’s political campaigns.
In an interview with Michael Gitonga six years ago, she revealed that she was in the energy sector. She believed that energy drives nearly everything in the country and that the first step towards any significant development is energy. Hers is about promoting the use of renewable energy and advocating for climate action among the youth.
Winnie was nominated to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) alongside Kalonzo Musyoka’s, Mr Kennedy Musyoka.
Winnie Odinga is the fourth and last born to Raila and Ida Odinga. Her elder siblings are: the late Fidel Odinga, Rosemary Odinga and Raila Junior. Growing up, she spent most of the time alone as her siblings were much older than her. The only one close to her age was Raila Junior who is 11 years older than her.
While she grew close to the late Fidel Odinga later in life, she met him at the age of 11. It was awkward at first as they hadn’t seen each other in years. However, the awkwardness was soon overcome and the two grew close.
Winnie is close to all her family members and can be spotted with her father from time to time. In fact in a previous interview, she said the illness of her sister Rosemary Odinga affected her more than the death of her brother.
Facing the possibility of losing her sister was something very hard to comprehend.
Winnie Odinga is not yet married. In a past interview, she said in Kenya, one either meets men in the bar or church. She added that it seemed most men have decided to go to the bar.
She stated that she will get married in 2022 on the lawns of State House once her father becomes president of Kenya.
“Tell them that I said, Winnie Odinga will get married in 2022, on the lawns of State House, And you are all invited, so if you want that to happen, go register to vote,” she said during a meeting with Mount Kenya Youths at The University of Nairobi.