Speech by Daniel Juma Omondi Executive Director of the Global Peace Foundation Kenya & Vice Chairman of Hekima Kaka Society on the occasion of Honouring Mama Dr. Ida Betty Odinga at the Kempinsky Hotel Nairobi on 12th February 2020.
Your Excellency the Right Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, Your Excellency Mama Ida Betty Odinga, all the invited guests and all Protocols observed Ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Daniel Juma and I feel greatly honoured to stand here today as we honour and recognize Dr. Ida Betty Odinga for her Resilience, bravery, in the 2nd Liberation as well as her input in peace building, Education, Equity and Empowerment of Women and National Cohesion.
Hekima Society was founded in 2008 by Agnes Salome Awuor to address the flight of the boy child and men in Kenya who have been excluded in the gender equality agenda. In her interaction with men and young boys in schools and universities being an educationist and counselor, Awuor realized the extent to which boys and men in general are being silenced in the wells of alcohol, drugs, self-pity, lack of direction, terrorist and criminal groups, unemployment, suicide, illiteracy and hopelessness.
This is why when she asked me to join the Hekima Kaka Society Board as Vice Chairman, I didn’t hesitate since Hekima Kaka shares similar values with our efforts at Global Peace Foundation to empower the youth and women if we would like to realize sustainable peace and development.
At the Global Peace Foundation, we believe that Peace is not just absence of war and that we must address the structural issues that affect our society by engaging in education, mentorship and youth and women empowerment initiatives.
I have known Mama Ida Odinga for many years and I consider myself a friend of her family and her husband Raila Odinga is a man I admire greatly and look upto. I have had the honour of listening to Baba’s words of wisdom in our many trips and abroad and locally. But as they say behind every successful man lies a great woman and that is why today we are here to honour the matriarch of the Odinga family.
Last night I spent time going through mama’s recent speech at the Technical University of Kenya. In her speech she spoke about her family background, how her father passed on when she was only 7 years old. Her mother left with 6 children was faced with what seemed like an insurmountable challenge. A challenge everybody who loses a pillar in their lives face. The challenge that ordinary young Kenyans have faced and continue to face in our lives.
I took away two things from her speech
1.“The average Kenyan meets 10,000 people in the span of their lives. But if each one of you creates an impact in the lives of just ten of the thousands of people you meet, and each of those ten creates a similar impact in a further ten, then in five generations, the people in this room will have created change in the lives of millions across the world.”
2. The Importance of Making Your Bed. “I remembered the lessons from my dear mother about making beds. If done properly, the corners will be squared, the covers pulled tight, the pillows centered and the blanket folded neatly at the foot of the bed. At best, this routine can be described as mundane. But the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and will encourage you to accomplish another, then another, then another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed in the morning will reinforce the fact that the little things matter. If you cannot do the little things right then you will never be able to do the big things even half right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, at least you will come back to a bed that is made. That you made. And that will give you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
This second quote is important and relevant to the famous American Expressions AS YOU MAKE YOUR BED, SO YOU MUST LIE ON IT Meaning: you have to suffer the consequences of what you do.
Therefore, on behalf of Hekima Kaka Society Let me say that I am proud that we are honoring Mama Dr. Ida Betty Odinga today. May God keep blessing you Mama and your beautiful family.