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Winnie Odinga’s International Side-Hustle

Winnie is also an entrepreneur in her own right

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Winnie Odinga is known to most Kenyans as the daughter of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and a recently minted member of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA). Over the past decade, she has worked closely with her father in his political endeavors including as a key Azimio coalition operative in the 2022 General Election.

Winnie is trusted by her father and has been by his side in critical moments, including his 2018 handshake with former President Uhuru Kenyatta. She has served as her father’s personal assistant in addition to helping steer communication strategies in past campaigns. Many analysts see her as a potential political heir of Odinga, although she has also faced criticism from Azimio insiders over the power she wields in Raila’s inner circle and how she uses it.

However, Winnie is also an entrepreneur in her own right. She is the founder and CEO of Brickhouse Counsel, a communications consultancy firm she established in 2017.

In its five years of existence, the company has worked with high-profile political and governmental entities from across Africa. They include Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu, former President Uhuru Kenyatta, Zimbabwean opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, Zambia President Hakainde Hichilema, DRC President Felix Tshisekedi and Odinga himself.

Winnie is the holder of two Bachelor’s degrees (Corporate Communication & International Business & Economics) from Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA and an MBA from the United States International University (USIU) in Kenya.

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According to her, she has personally worked communications for five political campaigns on the continent. Besides politicians, her company also works with governments and organizations and counts among its past clients the Government of Kenya and African Union Development Agency (AUDA)-NEPAD.

In an appearance on the Iko Nini podcast, Winnie Odinga has previously stated how, upon returning from her studies in the US and her father’s election loss in 2013, she struggled to find a job in Kenya despite applying to countless roles. People at the time, she explained, thought her father was done after the poll loss.

She would become a self-taught photographer and captured and sold several images. She then began working more closely with her father, stating in a past interview: “I am his bodyguard.”

NEXT READ>Inside Raila’s Multi-Billion Energy Empire

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