Rosemary Odinga is one of the most respected women around.
Born in one of the powerful political dynasties in the country, Rosemary, the daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has won the hearts of many.
Last year, a few weeks to the August general elections, her supporters were convinced that she was going to win the Kibera parliamentary seat.
But unfortunately, the 41-year-old mother did not make it to the ballot papers.The mother of two suffered a stoke.
Rosemary flew to South Africa for treatment and after sometime she came back home.
Things seem to be going well for the powerful woman but recently, news went viral that she had gone blind.
In an emotional interview with Citizen TV, Rosemary Odinga recalled how she had traveled to Naivasha, where she was mentoring young women in politics and it’s there where she knew about her blindness.
I was doing a workshop for ladies who want to be politicians, and my head was just aching. Then I remember I was called for breakfast and I couldn’t open the door… eventually, after knocking and opening the door, I just collapsed onto the help who was there.
My older daughter ran to the clinic and they sent an ambulance which came and picked me up. Then they said we could drive to Nairobi but I said I couldn’t make it so they sent for a chopper which brought me to Nairobi.
The second child of Mama Ida and Raila Odinga also addressed rumours that she was totally blind and couldn’t see anything.
I don’t really see out of the left eye. I can see through the right eye but it’s foggy; it’s like looking through a glass with water in it. So I see mostly through the right eye but it’s half the vision, and I can see things that are very close to me.
Rosemary revealed she lived in denial and cried every time after she realized she couldn’t see again.
The transition was very challenging…sometimes I could give up and find myself crying all the time- I am used to living a certain lifestyle where I am very independent/ making my own choices in life then suddenly I was not able to do that. I was feeling helpless and hopeless during my first stages of partial blindness.
Her family is very supportive of her and she revealed that even her and community members have been there for her and occasionally visit her to pray for her. The brave mother said she has ‘now adapted to her new lifestyle and can even find her way around the house and choose her own outfits’.
I draw strength from my daughters… because of them, I’m alive. I said to myself, ‘if I give up now, what am I teaching them? Am I teaching them that whenever you have a hiccup in life to give up?’ And I said ‘No! I have to continue and try and be successful.
Rosemary is still determined and when asked about id she would ever go back to politics, she responded;
If God gives me an opportunity and people are willing to support me, then I will not shy away from a leadership position.
There are so many examples in the world of persons with disability who are able to provide leadership to the community.
Ms Odinga’s story has gone viral and below are reactions from Kenyans;
Cyrus Kipchirchir: Mum let God heal you totally. Tweeting on full tears😪😪
Papah: She is a woman with a heart of a lion and a skin of a rhinoceros..that’s a true leader despite being in the dark she can see big things in the light of the World
Mwirigi Robert: A strong and bold woman. May God protect her.
Shiro: Wow….thanks for #inspiring interview. Great strength Rosemary Odinga…and indeed hope/encouragement to many. We wish her Godspeed recovery.
Godfrey Ndula: I would not survive half of what she has been through. May the good lord heal you!
Michael Ayieko: I’m proud you didn’t lose hope in the face of adversity
Kimura Fundi: I like his courage she is a fighter n God will see her through the condition