Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga has been spotted a few times in our local country club lately. Incidentally, he doesn’t seem to mind too much that the membership is predominantly Kikuyu.
A South African friend told us: ‘I kid you not! It was only Raila Odinga speed walking on the running machine next to mine this morning!’ Someone else spotted him on another occasion and rather bravely introduced himself, even giong as far as proffering his hand for a shade. This unfortunately proved to be not the thing to do because Raila studiously ignored the gentleman.
Yesterday, a British friend saw Raila in the club pacing down the path to the swimming pool/gym area. My friend smiled brightly and said: ‘Hello!’ Which he felt might be the right etiquette in a members club, but again the gaze of Raila hidden behind dark glasses, while flanked by two body guards in matching African shirts (it was Sunday) did not flicker the remotest response.
The African style of leading is obviously a far cry from the UK/USA style of acting at all times as; ‘The People’s President’. Smiles etched painfully on faces and always a minute spared for a potential voter.