Sarah Obama, the woman former US President Barack Obama considered his grandmother, died this Monday morning at the age of 99 in a hospital in Kisumu (Kenya), her daughter has announced. “He joined the Lord. He passed away this morning, ”his daughter Marsat Onyango told AFP on Monday. Sarah Obama was in the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Reference Hospital in Kisumu, he said, without indicating the reason for his admission. Although he had no blood ties to Sarah, Barack Obama has often made it known that he considered her his grandmother and visited her on several occasions.
Born in 1922 on the shores of Lake Victoria, the nicknamed Mama Sarah, was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, the paternal grandfather of the US president. Until being hospitalized, she lived in a small brick and corrugated house in Kogelo, 500 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, near Lake Victoria. After Obama's election to the presidency in 2008, Sarah's modest home had become a tourist attraction, protected by barbed wire and guards.
"In September she had a heart attack and had blood sugar problems," she said. indicated his daughter in statements given to the Kenyan newspaper The Nation . He also stressed that the family is working to be buried this Monday in the Muslim cemetery of Kisumu. The governor of Kisumu, Anyang Nyong'o, and the Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga, have already expressed their condolences to the family and community of Kogelo, where Sarah Obama was born, who headed a foundation dedicated to providing educational opportunities to children.
The former president was born in Hawaii. His father, Barack Hussein Obama, was born in Kogelo and met what would become his second wife and Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, when they were both studying Russian at the University of Hawaii.
During their three trips to Africa (in 1987, 1994 and 2006), who was the first senator and later the 44th president of the United States met his grandmother Sarah, his African relatives, and looked at the reality of countries trapped by instability and hunger: the starting point of the cayucos. The university students who were able to emigrate abroad like Barack Hussein Obama, the father of the Democrat, who lived in the United States but returned to Kenya, where he died in a traffic accident at the age of 46, sad and unsuccessful, almost alcoholic.
During the trip Obama's initiation in 1987, Sarah told him a lot about her father and grandfather Onyango. "Look, the man with the glasses in the photo is your father," the democrat's grandmother told this newspaper in 2008. And her husband, the grandfather? His grandfather was an authoritarian man, adherent of tribal traditions, including polygamy and beatings. "He paid the dowry of several young women, but when they were lazy or broke something, he beat them without regard." Sarah was the real grandmother, the foster grandmother, because the blood one, Akumu, Barack Hussein Obama's mother, Barack Obama's father, left home and mistreated her husband. Shortly after, she married a Tanzanian who had bought her from her parents for six cows and the promise of six more. "Do you talk to your grandson on the phone?" "No, because he doesn't speak Luo [the dialect of the Luo ethnic group, to which the family belongs] and I don't speak English," Sarah admitted then.