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Raila’s four political names and their meaning

Tim Nyabande
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A file photo of Raila Odinga. [Source/ODM]

Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga, and currently Africa Union’s Representative for Infrastructure, is one of the most influential leaders Kenya has ever had.

He enjoys a near cult following in the country and his word can make or break the whole country.

Of late, he has shocked many due to the political change he has brought in the country.

Central Organisation of Trade Union boss Francis Atwoli once said that Raila has suicidal supporters and when ‘he is on your side, you have nothing to worry about.

”Here are names that have been given to Raila in his political life:


In Dholuo, Jakom means chairman. The leader has been referred to as Jakom due to the many roles he has played in political parties as well as other meetings. In the street lingo, a chairman is anyone who ranks above the rest.


This is among the most common names for Raila. Agwambo means the unpredictable one or a mysterious person.

This is one nickname that truly fits him because he is among Kenya’s most mysterious politicians.

He is also unpredictable and those who tried to predict his next move were left baffled.


He got this name lately from his followers. They see him as a father figure who can show them the way.


This is a short form of Raila Amolo Odinga. It was adopted during the 2013 campaigns as opposition leaders packaged them into easy nicknames for posters.


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