Barack Obama in mourning

 Sylvie Claire / Mars 29, 2021

Sarah Obama, whom former U.S. President Barack Obama considered his grandmother, died Monday morning at the age of 99 in a hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, according to her daughter.


She joined the Lord. She died this morning, her daughter Marsat Onyango told AFP on Monday. Born in 1922 on the shores of Lake Victoria, she who was nicknamed Mama Sarah was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, paternal grandfather of the American president. This traditional practitioner, a local notable and a veteran of the British army in Burma died in 1975.


Although he is not related to Sarah by blood, Barack Obama has often made it known that he considers her his grandmother and has visited her several times. In Kenya, Mama Sarah became a national celebrity after a 2006 visit by her step-grandson, who was then only a senator from Illinois.


After his election as president in 2008, Sarah's modest home in the village of Kogelo, about 500 km northwest of Nairobi near the Ugandan border, became a tourist attraction, protected by barbed wire and guards.


During his presidential visit to Kenya in 2015, Barack Obama had met her and her family in the capital Nairobi. He had also visited her in 2018, this time in Kogelo, after the end of his term.

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