Why Raila and Oburu Were Denied Education In Kenya

  • Oburu Odinga(L) and his brother Raila Odinga(R) File
  • A walk down memory lane unearthed how Current High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa Raila Amollo Odinga and his older brother Oburu Odinga were unable to pursue their education in Kenya.

    The two sons of the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga did not have it easy during their heydays, while in school.

    Oburu and Raila were forced to repeat Standard one and two after their father transferred them from Maranda to a school in Bondo because they were growing up with little knowledge of their cultural background.

    The late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

    However, Jaramogi’s decision to send his two sons to study abroad came after Oburu excelled in his primary school examinations, gaining the highest possible points and distinctions but denied acceptance at Alliance High School as well as his second choice, Kisii High school.

    Jaramogi and Carrey Francis, who was the Principal of Alliance High School at the time, were involved in a tiff over Jaramogi’s refusal to join the Alliance Staff team.

    He later took the job but was again involved in a standoff over salaries and a deeper disagreement over the ethos of the school.

    The former Vice President had refused to be addressed as Mr. Adonijah and insisted that he be referred to as Oginga Odinga, against the school’s regulation that required the staff to be addressed as Mr. then followed by their Christian name.

    Karma is indeed what people say it is. Years later, when Jaramogi went to see Francis in order to get admittance for his deserving son, Francis was still holding on to the grudge, and had thus developed a strong dislike for Jaramogi’s persistent anti-colonial stance, thus taking it out on innocent Oburu.

    That is the point when Jaramogi realized that for his boys to acquire a good education, he would have to send them abroad.

    After several cat and mouse scenarios with the ministry of immigration, the two were finally able to pursue their studies abroad.

    Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with his family and Raila's wife, Ida Odinga