16 May 2019

Kenya: Oginga Odinga Burial Place Is a Tribute to the First Vice-President

opinion

The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Mausoleum is significant for those interested in the political history of Kenya. Jaramogi was Kenya's first Vice-President, a man whose name crops up whenever Kenya's political story is told.

The site is not only home to the rich legacy of the independence hero, it could also be described as a tribute to the Luo people.

FABLED LUO KING

In it is weaponry that includes spears, arrows, bows and shields that belonged to Jaramogi, who was bestowed the title 'Ker' (Luo Community leader).

This title, according to previously published information, was held by the fabled Luo king, Ramogi Ajwang', who reigned 400 years ago.

On the walls of the mausoleum hang framed pictures that tell of his political journey. There are also stuffed animals of cultural significance. His marble grave is also found within the mausoleum.

Mausoleum's curator Samuel Aduol says that following Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala's visit in February, the mausoleum is home to more exhibits, which include a python, leopard and oryx skin. Entry is free.

"Our aim is to open a new gallery showcasing the Big Five -- the elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo," Mr Aduol says.

At the entrance are sculptures of lions, which signify the relentless spirit of opposition politics during Jaramogi's time.

HISTORY OF THE REGION

Mr Aduol adds that since President Kenyatta visited the mausoleum last December, the number of tourists, mostly during weekends, has increased.

During his visit, Mr Balala announced plans to upgrade the mausoleum to an educational centre to help young people to understand the history of the region and learn more about the first Vice-President of Kenya.

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