Jaramogi Oginga Odinga: A Tireless Opposition Leader

Learn more about the Kenyan politician through the lens of legendary photographer Mohamed 'Mo' Amin.

By Mohamed Amin Foundation

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with Masinde Muliko (1969) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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‘Double O’

On 20 January 1994 Kenya mourned its great son, a nationalist and a patriotic citizen. The country had lost its strongest opposition leader, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, known in African politics as ‘Double O.’

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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In the mid-1960s, Odinga resigned from both government and party to form an opposition group, the Kenya People’s Union (KPU). 

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Mzee Jomo Kenyatta banned the KPU and imprisoned Jaramogi for 15 months, thus ending the first attempt at introducing multi-party politics in Kenya. 

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with Paul Muite (1992) by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Kenya was declared a one-party state by the National Assembly in the 1980s. During this period, political activity was suppressed and an increase in human rights abuses ensued. 

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Michael Kamaliza and Oscar Kambona by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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Odinga remained vocal in his calling for democracy. In 1991, he founded the National Democratic Party, but the government refused to recognize it again and briefly jailed Odinga. 

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga with Mzee Jomo Kenyatta by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

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After effective international protests, Odinga and five other opposition members formed the Forum for the Restoration of Democracy (FORD). This was the core of the pro-democracy movement, changing Kenya’s political landscape and opening up the political space in 1992. 

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga by Mohamed AminMohamed Amin Foundation

"The press must be a champion of political, social and economic development of the people. It must thus seek to report on the effect of the people to bring about this development. The press must indeed go farther than this and champion social, political and economic systems best suited for the development of Africa."
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga

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