Obama's Grandmother Dies in Kisumu

  • A file image of Barack Obama with his grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, in K'Ogelo village
    A file image of Barack Obama with his grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, in K'Ogelo village
    Daily Nation
  • Update; Monday, March 29: President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned Mama Sarah Obama as an icon of family values and a philanthropist whose contribution to the progress of the Kenyan nation shall be dearly.

    “The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We’ve lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values.

    "Mama Sarah Obama will be remembered by many for her philanthropic work especially in her Nyang’oma Kogelo home in Siaya County where she initiated several community development projects.

    “She was a loving and celebrated philanthropist who graciously shared the little she had with the less fortunate in her community,”  President Uhuru eulogized.

    ODM Leader Raila Odinga also mourned Mama Sarah and lauded her efforts in championing the education of girls using her foundation.

    "In the passing of Mama Sarah Obama, we have lost a matriarch who lived ahead of her time. She single-handedly kept the family going long after her husband departed. In between, she became a symbol of the resilience and confidence of the African woman with a unique capacity to face the challenges of life," said Mr Odinga.

    Mama Sarah Anyango Obama, the grandmother of former US President Barack Obama has died.

    The 99-year old passed on while receiving treatment at the at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu at 4.45am on Monday morning.

    Sheikh Musa Ismail Haji, Chairman of the Kisumu Muslim Association, said she will be buried according to Muslim religious customs tomorrow on Tuesday March 30.

    The Covid-19 containment measures from the Ministry of Health stipulate that the maximum number of people expected at a funeral is 50. However, it is unclear how many will attend Mama Sarah’s funeral. 

    sarah Obama
    A file image of Barack Obama with his grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, in K'Ogelo village
    Daily Nation

    Mama Sarah Obama was a believer of the Islamic faith and will be buried today per religious customs..

    She was the third wife to Hussein Onyango Obama, the father to Barack Hussein Obama Senior - the Kenyan father to the US statesman. 

    The 44th US President had close ties to his grandmother and last visited her at the family home in K'Ogello in July 2018. 

    Speaking to Nation, Marsat Obama- the daughter, said that Mama Sarah has been ailing for some time now and had suffered a stroke in September last year.

    "She was diagnosed with stroke in September last year and had blood sugar-related problems," she said.

    Kisumu Governor, Anyang Nyong'o sent his condolences to the family and the K'Ogelo community in Siaya County, saying Mama Sarah was a dear grandmother to all.

    "Mama Sarah Obama was not only a matriarch of the larger Obama family but a mother figure to many people. She was a philanthropist who helped to mobilise funds to pay school fees to many orphans and vulnerable children. She also supported many widows. She was always very charming and warm to those who visited her at home in K'Ogelo. May her soul rest in peace," said the Kisumu governor.

    sarah Obama
    Mama Sarah Obama, Grandmother to ex-US president Barrack Obama