The Kenyan actor Joseph Olita who acted as Idi Amin in the movie Rise and Fall of Idi Amin has died at the age of 70.
Olita passed away Sunday morning after succumbing to high blood pressure.
According to Risper Odero, a close relative to the deceased, Olita had gone home last week to prepare for the burial of his mother when his blood pressure shot off the roof on Saturday evening.
Before his death, Olita was staying in Uganda where he was selling electrical appliances.
A funeral committee has been set up in his home village chaired by the South Alego Ward representative Joshua Osuri. The date of burial will be communicated later.
Olita was 6 feet tall and weighed 150 kgs and he greatly resembled the late Idi Amin. The movie Rise and Fall of Idi Amin was produced less than one year after Amin’s fall.
The movie was a co- production of the United Kingdom, Kenya and Nigeria. It was directed by Sharad Patel and most of the films are done in Kenya.
When he was acting the role as Idi Amin he wrote a letter to him requesting to meet him but he never responded.
The late Olita, has left behind a widow and several children. He schooled in the Pap Oriang Primary School before joining St Mary’s School Yala where he was an active drama club member.
After completing his secondary education, Olita worked at Brooke Bond Company in Kericho and Union Carbide in Nakuru before venturing into the film industry.
Olita was a deeply spiritual man having attended Barding Secondary School and later proceeded to Yala Seminary School. He was working for USAID when the opportunity to act in the movie the rise and fall of Idi Amin presented itself.
Following the election of Barack Obama as first black president of United States of America in 2008, the actor founded a tour company named ”Kogelo gallamoro tours” which took opportunity of the foreign visitors who kept pouring into Obama’s ancestral home town, Kogelo.
This hero however did not live life as a king despite his acting prowess. He had been spotted a couple of times hawking DVDs of his break out movie “The rise and fall of IDI AMIN” in order to make ends meet. Giving a clear picture of what the film/acting industry in Kenya can lead some people to, in order to survive from it as a profession. “Money is not everything” he once said in an interview.
It is a tough industry indeed but great actors like Joseph Olita have done their part by putting Kenya on the map. He will forever be remembered as IDI AMIN based on the biographical film that details the controversial actions and atrocities of the former dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada, during his violent rise to power in 1971 until his overthrow in 1979 as the result of the Uganda–Tanzania War.
It was a co-production of the United Kingdom, Kenya and Nigeria, with most of filming done in Kenya, less than a year after Amin’s downfall.