Friday, January 16, 2015
"News of Fidel's Death Spreads Like Bushfire"
No, not that Fidel, alas. But Barack Obama's cousin, Fidel Castro Odinga, son of former Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga, is dead at age 41. There are persistent rumors in Kenya that he was the victim of foul play whether by human agency or supernatural means. His father has endorsed this suspicion and sent tissue samples to Germany for analysis (we suppose that his entrails were entrusted to some competent local expert for purposes of divination). Hopefully, the malicious speculations of rival politicians will be proved wrong (according to his critics, Fidel Odinga died of a drug overdose after a lifetime of addiction).
It is likely Fidel Castro Odinga's death on January 4th gave rise to rumors of the demise of his namesake and ideological godson.
Back in 2008, the Review of Cuban-American Blogs was the first to reveal that Barack Obama had a cousin named Fidel Castro Odinga (Meet Fidel Odinga). It is fitting, therefore, that we should be the first in the Cuban blogosphere to report his death. To The Star of Africa (whose delicious English proves that the mother tongue is more alive in the hinterlands than in London or New York), we owe the news of Odinga's passing and the title of this post, which illustrates that even a cliché can sound new when invested with local color.
We urge you to read and ponder Khainga O'okwemba touching tribute to his boyhood idol, Ode to Fidel Castro Odinga," which begins:
The nude body in that coffin belongs to my brother,
Although he is clothed in a three-piece suit
That will never cover the naked truth
That he is a victim of murder.
What's in a name? Apparently, everything. Fidel Castro Odinga's notoriety in Kenya was not due only to his being the son of Raila Odinga or the grandson of Oginga Odinga, founder of Kenya's Communist Party. It was, rather, his adoptive bloodline that was used to prove his worth and authenticity, much as Jesus' descent from David through his adopted father Joseph is used to prove that He fulfills the Bible prophecy that the Messiah must spring from the loins of David. Fidel Castro Odinga's pedigree was also traced to and validated by an indirect ancestor: "When Fidel's name popped out in public, he immediately became famous and attracted admiration, because of the political spirit the revolutionary Cuban leader Fidel Castro, that he was named after, evoked." One would think that the "political spirit" evoked by Fidel Castro would hardly be a recommendation, but let us not judge the Dark Continent too harshly when the Enlightened West is no better informed about the last white colonizer of Africa, successor to King Leopold and Cecil Rhodes.
Fidel Castro Odinga leaves a 2 year-old son as his only heir. We have been unable to discover if he's named after his late father. We'll know, one day, if "Fidel Castro Odinga, Jr." comes to prominence.