Fidel’s death robs social scene of a regular
Kenya’s social scene will be poorer without Fidel Castro Odinga, 41, son of former Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga, who died early Sunday.
Moments before his death, he had been spotted at different entertainment joints in Nairobi, having a good time with friends.
This is not unusual since he frequented many popular joints in most urban centres across the country but mainly in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
While he rarely gave media interviews, Fidel would always find his way into the news anyway, for right and wrong reasons alike.
Those who hanged out with him knew him as a philanthropist who never cared about his friend’s economic status or political affiliations.
He also loved expensive whiskey, but close friends say he would switch from one brand to another.
One of his closest known friends was Don Bosco Gichana, a flashy businessman who also lived in the US.
Bosco, who is reported to have donated the much-publicised Hummer SUV vehicle to Raila Odinga, tried his luck in politics in the last General Elections but failed.
Fidel was known to have invested in petroleum and real estate, and had an office block in Nairobi’s Kilimani area.
Just before the 2007 General Elections, Fidel married Veronica Wanjiru Ng’ang’a, in a high profile traditional wedding attended by top Kenyan politicians.
However, the marriage did not last. Fidel offered no explanation, only blaming it on ‘irreconcilable differences’.
In July, 2012, he married Eritrean Lwam Getachew Bekele. They have a child.
PROTECTIVE OF FAMILY
Close friends said he was very protective of his family, including his siblings – Rosemary, Winny and Raila Junior.
“When his father was in detention, he acted as the father figure and protected his family with all he had,” said a close friend who requested anonymity.
But Fidel has also been caught on the wrong side of the law. In June last year, he was fined Sh30,000 by a Nairobi court after he pleaded guilty to the offence of drink-driving.
He also had a scuffle with a matatu driver during which he whipped out a sword. He later said he did so in self-defense after the matatu driver allegedly blocked his way.
Fidel studied at Mbeji Academy in Nyanza before proceeding to the US for further studies before returning to Kenya over 10 years ago.
One of the friends he was with on Saturday night was Mr Robert Kimuchu Gichuru, son of former Kenya Power managing director Samuel Gichuru.
In September, Mr Gichuru was charged in court with killing a cyclist through dangerous driving on a Nairobi street. The Range Rover he was driving belonged to Fidel.