Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga celebrated his 77th birthday in front of his doting followers at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on Friday, January 7 and there was a special cake laid out just for him.
However, the cake for his 77 years on Earth was no ordinary one. It came in five tiers, with the national flag deftly draped on the bottom of its second-to bottom tier and second-to-top tier and wrapped in creamy-white icing.
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Another special feature was the dates indicated on all its tiers with a special meaning. The bottom tier represented the tenure of the late founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta from 1964 to his death in 1978.
The next tier represented the reign of the late former President Daniel Arap Moi who ruled for a record-breaking 24 years from 1978 to 2002.
The third tier represented former President Mwai Kibaki’s rule from December 2002 to April 2013 with the fourth symbolising President Uhuru Kenyatta’s term from 2013 which will conclude after August 9, 2022.
The fifth and final tier represented his fifth attempt to ascend to the top seat at State House, having failed in all of his previous attempts. The 2022 presidential elections present another chance for him to score a victory, but he will have to overhaul Deputy President William Ruto.
“1964 to 1978 it represents Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s regime. The second layer run from 1979 to 2001 represents late President Moi. The third layer from 2002 to 2012 represents Kibaki’s era and the fifth layer is for our fifth president Raila Odinga,” explained Sports Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Zack Kinuthia.
Another significant event at his birthday party was his decision to cut the cake at exactly 11.47 am. He explained that it was the same time he was born, thus bestowed the name ‘Onyango’.
He added that his mother had only used that name to refer to him before he passed on.
“Today, there is one person I would pretty much like to appreciate, unfortunately, she is not here. That is my mother. She endured a lot of pain,” Raila stated.
He held great respect for his late mother, hence his persistence to Kenyan men to respect all women.
“I was born at exactly 11:47 am, the time we have cut my birthday cake. That means my name is Onyango. My mother gave me that name and all while she was still alive, she used to call me Onyango to signify the time I was born. That is why I always tell men that you must respect all women,” he recounted.
Giving his speech during the party, Raila invited all youths to his movement as he begins to stamp his foot with his campaigns to get as many voters as possible to win the elections.
“I want to work with the youths of this country, I want all youths to participate and be in Baba’s army. In 5 years’ time, I can promise you a different Kenya. I have been the Prime Minister of this country and I know where the money is.”
Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu, MPs Kanini Kega, Babu Owino, Kega and the County’s Woman Representative Esther Passaris were some of the notable figures in attendance.
His 2022 opponent DP Ruto threw rivalry aside and sent Odinga wishes of his own via social media, joining millions of Kenyans who wished him the same.
“Happy birthday Jakom. May you be blessed with many more,” he wrote.