ODINGA'S TRADEMARK

'Jowi! Jowi'! Raila emulates father in mourning Moi at Kabarak

Raila signed off as he carried his fly whisk and waved it at Moi's casket.

In Summary

• As he walked back to his seat, Raila went to the casket and flew his whisk again at before bowing out.

• The ritual was made famous by his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, during the viewing of the body of Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks during the funeral of former President Daniel Moi at Kabarak on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
ODM leader Raila Odinga speaks during the funeral of former President Daniel Moi at Kabarak on Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
Image: ANDREW KASUKU

Jowi! Jowi!

These were the words of ODM leader Raila Odinga who sang at the burial of former President Daniel Moi at Kabarak on Wednesday.

"Yawa paru uru loo ..loo wang'e tek.. ee wuoyi gima ichamo ee mari,gima odong' to kik igen..jowi jowi!!) Raila sang.

(Loosely translated; ‘Remember the grave is not a respecter of anyone…what you have today is what you can count on, tomorrow is in the dark.)

To cap his version of African send off to the country’s long serving President, Raila slowly brandished his totem six times over the casket where the body of Moi lay. Signifying great honour in the Luo tradition. 

Raila signed off as he carried his dark black fly whisk. His song made the mourners burst into laughter.

As he walked back to his seat, Raila went to the casket and flew his whisk again at before bowing out.

The ritual was made famous by his father, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, during the viewing of the body of Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.

Odinga undertook the ritual that has been immortalised on video in 1978 after Kenyatta died in his sleep.

As he waved his fly-whisk, Oginga could be heard chanting the same words.