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‘I have a gift for Obama, help me meet him,’ Bungoma boy pleads with Uhuru

By Nathan Ochunge | Published Thu, July 12th 2018 at 10:33, Updated July 12th 2018 at 10:37 GMT +3
Ryan Namanda wants to meet former US President Barack Obama. (Nathan Ochunge, Standard)

A 10-year-old standard five pupil at a primary school in Bungoma County is appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help him secure a chance to meet former US President Barack Obama during his visit to Kenya.

Mr Obama is expected in the country on July 16, this year where he is expected to visit his ancestral home at K’ogelo in Siaya County and open some projects.

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Speaking to the Standard, Ryan Namanda a pupil at Lugulu Boarding said he wanted to meet Obama in order to give him portraits of the former president done during Obama's official visit in 2015.

Ryan, a last born son in a family of three, has a passion in drawing and has portraits of prominent leaders in Africa such as the late icon Nelson Mandela, presidents John Pombe Magufuli (Tanzania), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and former opposition leader Raila Odinga.

“I am appealing to President Kenyatta to help me meet Obama who is my role model. I want to gift him with the portraits,” said Namanda.

Ryan, who hopes to join Alliance high school after completing his primary education, says he wants to pursue Architectural Engineering in drawing and design.

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‘I started drawing portraits of Obama after seeing him on television and magazines when he came to Kenya back in 2015 and this time I would like to meet him again in person,” said the 10 year-old boy.

He added “ At my free time, I normally watch him on you tube giving speeches and in television programs such as Science of Discovery, Nat Geo and Science of Stupid,’’.

Ryan also wants Mr Obama to open an arts centre in Bungoma County to help in nurturing  youths and children with drawing skills, saying the former US President  has inspired a lot of people especially with hi slogan that said ‘yes we can’ during the 2008 Presidential campaigns.

 Ryan’s father Namanda Chesikaki said that he was impressed by his son’s brilliant skills of drawing at a tender age that shocked him when he drew the Obama and those of other leaders.

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‘My son is a big fan of Obama who has been asking me if he can meet Obama and present to him his portraits as a gift when he comes to Kenya,’ said Mr Chesikaki.

Mr Chesikaki said when they learnt of Obama’s first visit to the country after leaving the White House; they were delighted that there last born son will now get the opportunity to meet Obama.


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