Raila-as-footballer

INCIDENT 46 YEARS AGO THAT LEFT RAILA LIMPING

Many have laughed and others sympathised with ODM leader Raila Odinga’s walking style.

While walking or dancing, Raila appears to limp and the truth is that he has difficult lifting his left leg.

For 46 years he has struggled with this problem that occurred in a soccer field while he was just 29 years.

The incident nearly left him a handicapped person were it not for quick medical attention.

A day in 1974 he was part of Gor Mahia players preparing for a face-off with a team from Survey of Kenya.

They were practicing at a field along Thika road when an opponent jumped against him, kicked him in the left knee and sheared the front of his left shin with his shoe studs.

He was in extreme pain and was hospitalised and for several weeks he could not walk. He just crawled.

“At the hospital my kneecap had to be pushed back into position. For weeks I was barely able to walk and had to crawl around the house” he says in his book ” he says in his book “The Flame of Freedom”.

“It was an agony and it was also the end of my football career. I sustained an injury whose after-effects would remain with me for the rest of my life” Raila says.

It was this injury that made it difficult for him to squat when instructed to so while he was in detention in 1980s and 1990s and this led to more harassment by the interrogators who thought he was defiant.

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