Former President of the United States, Barack Obama has confirmed the death of his step-grandmother in Kenya, Sarah Onyango Obama. He did this via a social media post on Monday 29th March 2021, a few hours after the sad news from Kenya.
Barack Obama taking to his official social media handle on Monday, posted a throwback photo of himself and Sarah Onyango Obama, during one of his many visits to Kenya to see his step-grandmother.
He posted the message saying:
“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. We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life”.
The death of Sarah Obama was reported on Monday by Marsat Onyango, her daughter, who said she died in the early hours of Monday morning.
Sarah Obama died at the age of 99, at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city in the country’s west, where she was being treated for an undisclosed illness.
Sarah Obama, as the step-grandmother of the former U.S. president was fondly called, was a philanthropist who promoted education for girls and orphans.
She will be remembered for her work to promote education to empower orphans, Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o said while offering his condolences to the people of Kogelo village for losing a matriarch.
“She was a philanthropist who mobilized funds to pay school fees for the orphans,” he said.
Sarah Obama, was the second wife of President Obama’s grandfather and helped raise his father, Barack Obama, Sr. The family is part of Kenya’s Luo ethnic group.
President Obama often showed affection toward her and referred to her as “Granny” in his memoir, “Dreams from My Father.” He described meeting her during his 1988 trip to his father’s homeland and their initial awkwardness as they struggled to communicate which developed into a warm bond. She attended his first inauguration as president in 2009.
Later, Obama spoke about his grandmother again in his September 2014 speech to the U.N. General Assembly.
For decades, Sarah has helped orphans, raising some in her home. The Mama Sara Obama Foundation helped provide food and education to children who lost their parents — providing school supplies, uniforms, basic medical needs, and school fees.