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Saturday, 14 June 2014
Idi Amin actor dies at 70
By Victor Akande: 3rd June 2014.
Kenyan actor, Joseph Olita, who portrayed former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, in the films ‘Rise and Fall of Idi Amin’ (1981) and ‘Mississippi Masala’ (1991), is dead.
Olita reportedly died in South East Alego, Kogelo, Kenya, at the age of 70, following
worsened high blood pressure on Sunday, a day after his mother’s
burial. The actor, who lived in Uganda, had just returned to Kenya for
the burial of his mother.
The movie, ‘Rise and Fall of Idi Amin’, is a 1981 biographical
film directed by Sharad Patel and stars the deceased as the lead
character. The flick details
the controversial actions and atrocities of the former dictator of
Uganda during his violent rise to power in 1971 until his overthrow in
1979, as a result of the Uganda–Tanzania War.
The late actor, who was six feet 5.5 inches and weighed 150kg, bore a striking resemblance to the late Idi Amin.
relative, Ms Risper Odero was said to have described Olita’s death as a
big blow to the family, especially since it happened less than 24 hours
after the burial of his mother. A funeral committee has been set up in
his home village, chaired by the Kenya’s South Alego Ward
representative, Joshua Osuri.
‘Rise and Fall of Idi Amin’ 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.
Besides acting in this film and ‘Mississippi Masala’, Olita also
featured in Sheena (1984) where he performed as the First Policeman.
The late Olita, who is survived by a widow and several children,
schooled at 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.