Kenyan Sarah Obama, whom former US President Barack Obama considered his grandmother, passed away, Monday morning, at the age of 99, in a Kisumu hospital (western Kenya), according to her family..
Her daughter, Marsat Onyango, told AFP on Monday that she “moved next to God, as she passed away this morning” at the Garamuji Ojenga Odinga Hospital in Kisumu..
Sheikh Musa Ismail said that the deceased will be buried in Kogelo on Tuesday morning, according to Islamic rituals.
“All (family members) have been notified, even President Obama, who offered his condolences,” he added.
The family spokesman Sheikh Musa Ismail explained that her death was not due to the Corona virus. He said that the tests that were conducted on her showed that “she was not infected with Covid.” He pointed out that “she was ill for a week, and her condition deteriorated yesterday (Sunday). She was transferred to the hospital and placed in intensive care, and she died this morning.”
Sarah Obama was born in 1922 on the shores of Lake Victoria, and was nicknamed “Mama Sarah”. She is the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, the grandfather of the US President to his father. Hossein Onyango Obama was considered a prominent local figure, a former soldier in the British Army in Burma, and he died in 1975..
In Kenya, “Mama Sarah” became a celebrity after a visit in 2006 by her husband’s son, who was at the time a senator from Illinois.
Her modest home in the village of Kogelo, 500 kilometers northwest of Nairobi near the border with Uganda, became a tourist attraction, and soon a guard was imposed around it and barbed wire was erected..
In 2009, the Kenyan government officially declared Kogelo a National Heritage Reserve.
Barack Obama met her in 2015 in the capital, Nairobi, during a presidential visit to Kenya. Then he visited it in 2018, this time in Kogelo, after his term expired.
In a statement, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta praised “a strong and virtuous woman who united the Obama family and was a symbol of family values.”
“She was loving and loved, and she shared the little she had with those who were less capable in her community,” he added.
After Barack Obama was elected, she put her fame at the service of NGOs and international organizations.
She has appointed the Goodwill Ambassador for the non-governmental organization “Camp Maradona”, which is mainly funded by former Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona and which fights malnutrition through sport..
It has also supported the African Campaign to Eliminate Trypanosomiasis and the Tsetse Fly, which is supported by the African Union.
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