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“It hit me like a thunderbolt” Raila explains how daughter’s sickness devastated the family

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Opposition leader Raila Odinga has revealed how news of daughter Rosemary Odinga’s sickness hit him like a thunderbolt.

Narrating how Rosemary survived a stroke that left her partially blind, Raila said his daughter’s sickness devastated his family and almost ruined his campaigns for the presidency last year.

He said the illness was devastating, coming at a time the family was yet to recover from the death of its first born, Fidel Castro Odinga, in January 2015.

“It was a major drawback. It hit me like a thunderbolt. We were flying to Turkana for a campaign rally when my other daughter Winnie broke the news that Rosemary had fallen ill in Naivasha,” Raila said in an interview aired on Citizen TV on Thursday.

The ODM leader recounted how Rosemary, who at the time of falling ill had expressed political ambitions, hang on to life by a thread as doctors in Kenya, South Africa and China fought to save her life.

Rosemary fell ill in February last year, just weeks after she told a rally in Kibra of her political interests in the constituency once represented by her father.

According to Raila, Rosemary fell ill in Naivasha where she was training a group of women leaders.

“She fell ill in her room. She was with her children. Fortunately, she had communicated with her mother Ida, who in turn called Winnie,” Raila said.

READ ALSO:   Twitter thrilled as Rosemary Odinga regains full sight

The attack was so severe that Rosemary could not open the door to hotel workers who had rushed to her rescue and the room had to be broken into.

“The hotel workers had to break the door to access her,” recounted the former Prime Minister.

The Odingas then rushed Rosemary to Nairobi where the fight to save her life started in earnest.

“She was flown to Johannesburg in South Africa by an air ambulance, accompanied by Ida,” Raila said.

 

In Johannesburg, Ida had to rent an apartment from where doctors struggled to diagnose the ailment. They spent three months there.

But it was in China where a professor of medicine finally discovered what Rosemary was suffering from. A scan that was earlier sent from South Africa alarmed the Chinese doctor who ordered that she be flown there immediately.

“She was diagnosed with a tumour in the brain and the doctors declared it an emergency. She underwent a three-in-one operation that took 10 hours,” he said.

Rosemary recently said she was on her path to full recovery even though she has partially lost her eyesight.

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Diaspora

GOFUNDME: Kindly help Jackie Koli bury her mom and get justice

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Jackie Koli’s mom, Beatrice Wanjiku Gitura (pictured above), was murdered in cold blood after she went missing on Friday, May 22, 2020.
On Saturday May 23rd, her body was found in her car a few Kilometers from Embu Town.  Her throat had been slit, hands tied with a rope and a piece of cloth tied across her mouth. It was double tragedy since the sister to her mom (Jackie’s auntie) passed on the same day- Friday morning after battling with cancer.Jackie, an only child, needs our financial support as she prepares to bury her mom and seek justice. Any help will be highly appreciated.

Kindly donate here via Gofundme

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: You’re the ugly face of impunity-Ruto hits back at Raila
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Becoming a single father in my teens

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Their daily routine entails doing homework and studying, cooking various cuisines ranging from African to Italian, playing jenga [a building blocks game) and also, going for evening walks around the neighbourhood. Looking back, Kennedy Osano, wouldn’t wish for any other gift than that of watching his teenage girl grow into a responsible and humble girl. To him, fatherhood is a lifetime responsibility with its challenges, sweetness and bitterness and he is glad to walk through it as a single parent.

He had met the mother of his daughter in 2006 when they were both in secondary school. He lived in Naivasha, she was in Nairobi. But during the holidays, he would visit his uncle in Nairobi and often would spend time with her.

But it wasn’t long before she showed up in his school with a bulging stomach. He was in Form Three. He had nothing. But he decided he

wasn’t going to deny his blood. Though it was challenging, he proved to be tough and resilient. He adjusted to his new fate and became a paragon of docility and diligence.

A few months later, a princess was born and they named her Mellisa Levian Lanaya. At first, she stayed with her mother. After his secondary education, things changed for the better when he got a job as a messenger at a local bank. He was paid enough for him to save and enroll at a university to pursue an undergraduate degree, which propelled him to move up his career ladder.

READ ALSO:   Twitter thrilled as Rosemary Odinga regains full sight

Full custody

“I was there by my baby mama’s side all along both physically and emotionally, but when I got a stable job, I could afford to lead a decent life without struggling. I also longed to be closer to my little princess and spend more time with her,” he says.

During school holidays, Mellisa would often visit her father and spend several days before leaving for her mum’s place. At first Osano didn’t know how Mellissa’s mum would react to having him take full custody over their daughter, but he decided to do it anyway. Also, Mellisa’s mother had already moved on and married someone else.

“I was determined to get her to stay with me, so I talked to her mother and we came to an agreement that Mellisa would visit her during the holidays. It wasn’t hard since I had always stepped in and played my part even while my daughter was with her,” he says.

Though he was not a stranger to his daughter, when he started living with her in 2018, they had to start learning each other — learning what his daughter liked and vice versa.

The 31-year-old father says raising her became easy with the support of his friends and family. Also, his baby mama is supportive and is always a phone call away when her attention or guidance is needed. Osano is determined to raise his girl into a disciplined and responsible individual.

READ ALSO:   Stick to football, Ida Odinga advises Mariga

But despite the merits that fatherhood has to offer, their biggest challenge is the 18 years age difference, between them. Often, especially when in public, people eye the duo suspiciously.

“She has grown so fast. Sometimes when people see a young girl in the

backseat and no adult woman in the passenger seat, they raise eyebrows. At times I have been questioned and even forced to pull out her birth certificate just to prove my point,” he says.

He makes sure he is in the house in time to have dinner with her and limit the number of guests that come to the house. “Sometimes, a man just needs a quiet place, a beer on his hand; watch his favourite football team play [Arsenal], eating whatever he decides or not eating at all, and spending the night anywhere. However, all this drastically changed,” he says “My biggest challenge is having the sex talk with Melissa— talking to her about boys, her body changes and why she has to shuttle between her mum’s place to my place. But I take her through this, helping her understand we both love her and wish the best for her,” he says.

Fatherly advice

As his only child, Osano has made sure that her interests come first. His parting shot to fathers is to instill the desire for success in their daughters. “I make sure she grows up knowing that her success is solely in her hand and the world will only elevate her to her platform of success, discipline, empathy, modesty, self-belief and respect for authority and those who are older than her will keep her on that right path,” he says.

READ ALSO:   Ida Odinga: Here’s my case against my son’s widow

SINGLE FATHERHOOD

• Your parenting success hinges on having a reliable support system in place. As single parents, dads more often than mums, tend to hold back when seeking out help.

• Many single fathers do not want to get on their children’s bad side. Fathers are often seen as the disciplinarians of the family, and many who find themselves parenting alone attempt to drop that label.

• Single fathers often try really hard to protect their children. Making room for a few limited risks will be hard, but it can increase both your confidence and your child’s.

By PD

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285 killed by floods since April – CS Wamalwa

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Lusaka deny claims of involvement in Wamalwa’s imminent sacking

The Government has warned people who have encroached the riparian land to move to other grounds as floods continue to wreak havoc in different regions of the country.

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko on Wednesday urged Kenyans to take responsibility and respect laws regarding the riparian reserve.

So far, 285 people have lost their lives and 810,655 others affected by floods, mudslides and landslides occasioned by heavy rains in most regions. While giving the weekly update on floods in the country, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa said a more comprehensive report that will factor in the crop loss in acreage will be confirmed next week.

“We also have acreage, in terms of crop loss in many parts of the country that our colleagues in Agriculture will be confirming by next week. As the rains subside, we will be able to establish the exact acreage in terms of crop loss that we have suffered, in terms of the irrigation, land and infrastructure,” the CS said.

He warned the Coast, Western and Nyanza regions will continue to bear the brunt of the floods as the rains are expected to continue into the month of June.

However, in Northern Kenya, Garissa and Mandera, which were among the worst hit, the rains were subsiding while most dams across the country were still full but had stabilized. At the same time, the CS urged county governments to work with the Meteorological Department by utilising the information given in a better way to caution those at risk.

READ ALSO:   Twitter thrilled as Rosemary Odinga regains full sight

“We take this opportunity to thank the Meteorological Department that has been of great help in terms of giving us very accurate information and reliable data. The accuracy tells us going into the future when we get alerts, please let us not take them lightly,” he warned.

CS Wamalwa assured those that had been affected with the heavy rains that the Government will them to rebuild homes after the month of June.

By Standard.co.ke

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