Idi Amin Actor Dies At 70

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.

A close 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. It is 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.

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