Sarah Obama was a stabilizing force to Barrack as US President
OpenLife Nigeria reports that Barack Obama, a democrat and the 44th President of the United States of America has lost his Kenyan grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama.
Obama who, just last week, announced the commencement on the building of the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago, is currently in sorrow.
Barack Obama’s step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, has died at a hospital in Kenya at the age of 99.
Sarah Obama, affectionately called Granny Sarah by the former president, she defended her grandson during his 2008 presidential campaign, when he was said to be Muslim and not born in the US.
Her home became a tourist attraction when he was elected as the first black US president.
Sarah Obama was the third and youngest wife of Barack Obama’s grandfather.
She died early on Monday at a hospital in the western town of Kisumu, her daughter Marsat Onyango told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper.
A family spokesman said Mrs Obama had been unwell for a week, but did not have Covid-19.
She was buried later on Monday.
“We will miss her dearly,” Barack Obama said, “but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life.”
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Twitter that Mrs Obama was “a strong, virtuous woman” and “an icon of family values”.
Before her grandson became a household name, Sarah Obama was well known for the hot porridge and doughnuts she served at a local school.
She became more widely known when Mr Obama visited Kenya in 2006. At the time he was a senator from the state of Illinois, but a national celebrity in Kenya, and his grandmother spoke to the media about his rise in politics.
He returned in 2015, becoming the first sitting US president to visit Kenya, meeting Mrs Obama and other family members in Nairobi.
Barack Obama visited his step-grandmother’s home in the village of Kogelo in Kogelo in western Kenya in 2018, after leaving office, joking he had been unable to visit earlier because the presidential plane was too big to land at the local airport.
Sarah Obama was born in 1922 in a village on Lake Victoria, according to AFP. She was a Muslim and part of Kenya’s Luo ethnic group.
For decades, she ran a foundation in Kenya to help educate orphans and girls, something she felt strongly about as she couldn’t read herself.
She was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, President Obama’s paternal grandfather.
Her husband, who died in 1975, fought for the British in Burma, now called Myanmar, and is reported to be the first man in his village to swap goatskin clothing for trousers.
In a well crafted words of lamentation, the former president stated that the entire family would continuously miss Sarah Obama who he described as loving and kind.
Barack writes and mourns Sarah Obama as reproduced below:
“My family and I are mourning the loss of our beloved grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, affectionately known to many as “Mama Sarah” but known to us as “Dani” or Granny. Born in the first quarter of the last century, in Nyanza Province, on the shores of Lake Victoria, she had no formal schooling, and in the ways of her tribe, she was married off to a much older man while only a teen. She would spend the rest of her life in the tiny village of Alego, in a small home built of mud-and thatch brick and without electricity or indoor plumbing. There she raised eight children, tended to her goats and chickens, grew an assortment of crops, and took what the family didn’t use to sell at the local open-air market.
Although not his birth mother, Granny would raise my father as her own, and it was in part thanks to her love and encouragement that he was able to defy the odds and do well enough in school to get a scholarship to attend an American university. When our family had difficulties, her homestead was a refuge for her children and grandchildren, and her presence was a constant, stabilizing force. When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and father, who had passed away by then, it was Granny who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart.
During the course of her life, Granny would witness epochal changes taking place around the globe: world war, liberation movements, moon landings, and the advent of the computer age. She would live to fly on jets, receive visitors from around the world, and see one of her grandsons get elected to the United States presidency. And yet her essential spirit—strong, proud, hard-working, unimpressed with conventional marks of status and full of common sense and good humor—never changed.
We will miss her dearly, but celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life.”