Mama Sarah: Obama kept promise

What you need to know:

  • Speaking to the Nation at her home on Wednesday, a delighted Mama Sarah said she had implored the president to visit the country before the end of his term in office.
  • Mama Sarah said President Obama promised her he would come to Kenya when she visited the White House last November. She had gone to receive an entrepreneurship award at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
  • Mama Sarah, however, said she had no information on whether the US President would visit his ancestral home.

Mama Sarah Obama, grandmother of US President Barack Obama, on Wednesday said his July visit to Kenya is a fulfilment of a promise he made to her.

The US leader will be in Nairobi in July to attend an entrepreneurship conference. His father, Barack Obama Snr, was a Kenyan from Kogelo village in Siaya County.

Mama Sarah said President Obama promised her he would come to Kenya when she visited the White House last November. She had gone to receive an entrepreneurship award at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Speaking to the Nation at her home on Wednesday, a delighted Mama Sarah said she had implored the president to visit the country before the end of his term in office.

ACTED ON PROMISE

“He told me that he was waiting for political stability in the country before he can come. I am glad he has finally acted on the promise,” she said.

Mama Sarah, however, said she had no information on whether the US President would visit his ancestral home.

“Even though we are excited about the visit, we will not compel him to come to Kogelo. What I am happy about is the fact that he will be visiting Kenya. And that to me is a win for all of us,” she said.

President Obama will be in Kenya in July to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit that is to be co-hosted by Kenya and the US, State House spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said on Monday.

Mr Esipisu, who made the announcement in the company of Kenyan ambassador to the US Robinson Githae and US ambassador Robert Godec, said President Uhuru Kenyatta invited Mr Obama to Kenya during the US-Africa summit.   

FOURTH TIME

The July visit will be the fourth time President Obama comes to sub-Saharan Africa, but the first to Kenya.

At the same time, residents of Kogelo village have urged President Obama to visit his ancestral home.

Mr Manase Oyucho, headteacher of Senator Barack Obama Primary School, said the visit presents an opportunity for more growth in the area.

Mr Oyucho said the visit will be an opportunity to mobilise resources for the primary school as well as roads and hospitals in the area.

“For instance, when President Obama visited while he was a senator, we got police posts and roads, and even a secondary school,” he said.

Ms Cornelia Sidede, a businesswoman, said the visit would improve their lives.

Mr William Odhiambo, a resident of Kogelo, said: “We have heard that our son is coming and we are very excited about the visit. I feel very proud that my brother, President Obama is visiting.”

The Global Entrepreneurship Summit, organised annually since 2009 seeks to connect emerging entrepreneurs with leaders from business, international organisations and governments seeking to support them.

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