Why did Fidel Castro Odhiambo Odinga get a state funeral?

Trying to make sense of this decision. A loss of a child is tragic, no matter whose. Ida and Raila must have been in excruciating pain. Why they chose to make a national spectacle of their son’s funeral is something I can understand, being Luos and all. That said, the entire thing was done as if it was a state funeral for a dignitary worth his weight in stature, achievements and legacy.

What exactly did Fidel Odinga do to deserve a state funeral? He hadn’t distinguished himself in any way. He had all the advantages that life could offer: money, wealth, connections, name recognition, fame. All at his feet. Yet the only way he distinguished himself was by hanging out with other rich kids of so-and-so, brandishing guns and drinking himself blotto, as do the other kids of the rich in Kenya. He didn’t leave behind a business made and run by his own hands, he had no profile politically other than being Raila’s son, and it seems even his home was bought by his parents’ money, not his own.  He had a silver spoon and made nothing of it, which is so sad. The only real legacy is his little boy, and that isn’t really a standout as many people are parents of many children.

Being the son of so and so should not and does not entitle one to a state funeral. That Kenyans seem to have accepted is tragic beyond belief. No wonder that the elite will never relate to the ordinary person’s struggles.


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