Raila's Eldest Daughter: The Life Of Rosemary Odinga

  • ODM leader Raila Odinga and her daughter Rosemary File
  • Raila Odinga's eldest daughter and his second child Rosemary Odinga has had her share of ups and downs in the rollercoaster of life having been a thriving farmer and then almost losing her sight.

    She is the elder sister to Raila Junior Odinga and Winnie Odinga but is younger than the late Fidel Odinga.

    The Mother of two during her interview with Daily Nation on Sunday, April 10, 2016, described herself as a snail farmer, an entrepreneur, an advocate for social justice and a supporter of youth empowerment and development and also the patron of Upper Hill School Rugby team.

    She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Howard University and obtained an MBA in Marketing from the University of Dallas.

    Raila's eldest daughter Rosemary Odinga
    Raila's eldest daughter Rosemary Odinga. She spent two and a half months at a South African hospital in 2017

    Rosemary narrated the tough childhood she underwent after her father was detained by former President Daniel arap Moi when she was barely five years old which was followed by regular police raids at their home for the subsequent 10 years.

    "However, we were very close to my siblings. We played regular games like football, bird hunting, made dolls of clay and maize cobs, went fishing and swimming in the Nairobi river," she stated.

    When asked about her life as the daughter to the ODM leader, she explained the trouble of separating her personal life from her public life.

    Rosemary, who was eyeing the Kibra parliamentary seat on August 8, 2017, General Election, had to shelve her political ambitions to seek treatment for two aneurysms, brain tumour and stroke.

    Unbowed, she opened up about her ordeal in an exclusive interview with Citizen TV on Sunday, December 16, 2018.

    Her sickness, she revealed, brought uncertainties in her life and she knew no one who had gone through similar troubles to draw strength from.

    “Sometimes I would find myself crying wondering what I should do. I just realised that suddenly I can’t drive my car, I cannot cook the food I want to. I felt helpless that I cannot do things by myself,” she added.

    On this note, she added that she could see fuzzily from her right eye and not at all from her left eye but credited her family for the support they had given her.

    When speaking about her brother Fidel's death she stated how it was him that taught her most of the things she knew about life including cooking.

    “Up until we lost Fidel, the only other people we had lost were our grandparents. It was so difficult. He was our protector. I felt it was a big challenge to be the older sibling," she concluded.

    Asked whether she would get back to politics, she stated: “If God gives me an opportunity, I will not shy away from leadership."

    Rosemary Odinga
    Rosemary Odinga. She returned to Kenya in May 2017 from South Africa In February 2017 where she was hospitalised following a mild stroke.