The former President of the United States of America, Barack Hussein Obama, has mourned the passing of his grandmother, Sarah Onyango Obama, who breathed her last on Monday morning in Kisumu, Kenya.
Obama, in a statement posted on his social media pages, said his family is mourning the loss of a beloved grandmother.
“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,” said Obama.
Obama narrated the history of the departed grandma, who didn’t attend formal education.
“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,” he narrated.
She would later 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,” added Obama.
Obama credits the academic success of his late father to Sarah, the third wife of his grandfather.
“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,” said Obama.
He recounted his first trip to Kenya and stories he heard from Mama Sarah.
“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,” he said.
“She would live to fly on jets, receive visitors from around the world, and see one of her grandsons get elected to the United States presidency,” Obama concluded.
The burial of Sarah is already arranged for Tuesday in accordance with the Muslim tradition. Obama, currently in the US, will not be able to physically attend.