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Barack Obama mourns grandmother

BY: Zadok Kwame Gyesi
 Former US President Barack Obama with his grandmother Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama
Former US President Barack Obama with his grandmother Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama

Former US President Barack Obama has penned down an emotional tribute to mourn her departed Kenyan paternal grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, popularly known to her family as "Dani."

In a post on Facebook Monday afternoon, March 29, 2021, Mr Obama said: "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."

He said although Dani was not the biological mother of his (Obama's) father, she was the one who raised him (Obama's father.)

"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," he eulogised his paternal grandmother.

  Former US President Barack Obama post on Facebook mourning his grandmother Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama

Below is the post

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.