By OBOTE AKOKO
His audacity to challenge the status quo rattled authorities even as his diplomatic disposition earned him many friends within and outside Kenya. But Samson Mijoro-Odida has no regrets about challenging acts of injustice.
While at the Moscow State University, formerly called the Second Medical Institute (Pirogov) in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), he blocked many unfair university authorities’ decisions on African students. As President of the Kenya Students Union in the USSR, Dr Mijoro ensured that his charges enjoyed their education abroad by any means necessary.
The 67-year-old says no African leader has ever shaped his philosophy like former Namibian president Sam Nujoma and his family.
“I was privileged to be President Nujoma’s family doctor for eight years,” he says, recalling how the retired Namibian leader and his wife Kovambo Nujoma, were so humble yet determined to empower citizens of the Southern African nation.
“I was posted as a medical officer of health in Mr Nujoma’s home area of Ovamboland Province, some 800km North West of Windhoek,” he says.
Dr Mijoro visited the Namibian first family on a weekly basis to check on their health and that of President Nujoma’s mother.
“Mr Nujoma’s late mother would insist on me eating food prepared by her daughter before I could leave her compound,” he says.
According to Dr Mijoro, the old lady insisted on queuing at the outpatient department and shunned admission to amenity (special) wards each time she visited the local district hospital. She preferred to mingle with ordinary Namibians wherever they were.
Born in Nyakach Kadiang’a in Kisumu County, Dr Mijoro-Odida recalls an occasion when he rubbed the Kenyan Government the wrong way by trying to scuttle plans to bury the body of a Kenyan student in Hungary.
“The incident stirred my emotions to the bone marrow!” he says, trying to wipe imaginary tears from his face.