The man who acted as former Ugandan dictator president, Idi Amin Dada in the popular film Rise and Fall of Idi Amin has died at the age of 70.
Joseph Olita died suddenly at his rural home in South East Alego at Kogelo on Sunday morning hours after the funeral of his mother.
Olita reportedly succumbed to high blood pressure which worsened after his mother’s burial on Saturday. Olita had returned last week from Uganda, where he has been living, to bury his mother.
A close relative, Ms Risper Odero said Olita’s death was a big blow to the family coming 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.
The towering man, who during his prime stood at six feet 5.5 inches and weighed 150kg, bore a striking resemblance to the late Idi Amin.
He will be remembered as one of Kenya’s outstanding film stars for not only his sterling role Rise and Fall of Idi Amin, but also in other movies that he featured in prominently.
Rise and fall of Idi Amin premiered in Kenya in 1981. The movie detailed the controversial actions and atrocities blamed on the former dictator of Uganda, after his violent rise to power in 1971 until his overthrow in 1979.
Besides acting in the Rise and Fall of Idi Amin, Olita also featured in other movies including, Mississippi Masala in 1991where he acted as Amin and Sheena in 1984 where he performed as the First Policeman.
Rise and Fall of Idi Amin was a co-production of the United Kingdom, Kenya and Nigeria, with most of filming done in Kenya. It was produced less than a year after Amin’s fall and was directed by Sharad Patel. Strangely, the man who even passers-by referred to as Idi Amin due to his resemblance to the late Ugandan had a burning desire to meet the real Idi Amin.
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.