Almost all protagonists in literature are lonely in some way. In Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” Okonkwo finds himself surrounded by a large family, yet finds his own way of loneliness as the world around him darkens.
In Erechi Amadi’s Concubine, a love-stricken Ekwume living in Nigeria during an unspecified mythological age is stranded on her own island of unrequited love lust and misery.
In Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s Matigari, the character Matigari is hurt and lonely. In Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, Santiago is portrayed as a lonely old man who travels to catch the biggest fish of his life.
All of these protagonists live in their own inner world, a sometimes dark and difficult allegorical world, engulfed in daily worries and conflicts. Seemingly abandoned by fate, former Prime Minister Laila Odinga, like these protagonists, cuts out a lone character and faces Kenya’s volatile and rapidly darkening political landscape. .
Mr. Odinga resembles Homer’s hero Odysseus, shipwrecked on shore, sad, lonely and devastated, but also old and wise. He also reminds me of one of the titles of Alex La Guma’s novel In the End of the Season Mist. The novel paints a dark and hopeless picture–a luminosity stripped and truncated, as if twilight is reflected in the colors of the fading evening sky. . The end of dreams and promises. Mr. Odinga’s attempt to become president has been thwarted for years, and he now finds himself wandering into the evening twilight, a kind of end-of-season fog.
In literature, the hero is the protagonist of the story. And Odinga fits just that category in Kenyan politics. He has been a key figure in the opposition even after successive governments.
After the 2023 Finance Bill was signed by President Ruto, his role as the protagonist took on an even bigger spot. All eyes are now on Mr. Odinga, who on June 27, 2023 announced a number of measures to force the repeal of the controversial finance bill. He also called on Kenyans to accept civil disobedience, which denies government tax revenue.
Mr. Odinga shares many similarities with the great heroes of literature. One of the traits a hero should have is curiosity. A curious protagonist, eager to solve any puzzle, immerses himself in a mystery and embarks on a journey to find clues and discover secrets.
In Kenyan politics, Odinga has taken Kenyans on a journey to unravel the inner mysteries of the government they have opposed, exposing secrets and even scandals of suspicion.
Another trait of the protagonist is self-preservation, meaning taking calculated risks to fight another day. Mr. Odinga has demonstrated this quality time and time again, severing deals with his rival presidents or dragging his supporters off the peril he perceives them to be on a politically dangerous cliff. There was also Odinga’s best example of self-preservation may be his “handshake” with former president Uhuru Kenyatta.
Another trait that makes the main characters popular is their empathy. This means being able to understand, connect and share the emotions of others. Mr. Odinga is a master at this.
He is a man of means and power, but he can connect with the poorest of the poor. He has a knack for dealing with crowds, and when he’s at his best, he engulfs them like a musical beat. And at the most poignant times, when he addresses people’s problems directly, one feels like he’s the only person talking.
Alternating between menace and kindness, he is a man of the four seasons. After the 2023 Finance Bill, he has denounced high taxes and the associated high cost of living, which has made him a public darling.
Another important feature is that the protagonist should be the leader who drives the story forward. He must act decisively. Odinga has been doing this for years. He keeps popping up one after another as some kind of brooding political opponent to the four presidents.
His latest mandate is to mobilize Kenyans against the 2023 Finance Bill, and he appears to be doing so through street protests and other means of pressuring the government to cut the cost of living. is.
Most Kenyans are haunted by Mr Odinga. Could he have been a better president? We may never know the answer to this question, we may never know, but there is no doubt that Mr. Odinga is an outstanding hero who stands among the best of literature. He may be outnumbered now, outnumbered, outnumbered, and outnumbered, but he will never be defeated. He gives as much as he gets. What a hero!