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Tributes pour in following Mama Sarah Obama’s death

By Fredrick Kagonye | March 29th 2021
US former President Barack Obama, then senator, is received by his grandmother Sarah Obama during his visit to Kogelo, Siaya, in 2006. [File, Standard]]

Tributes from leaders across the country continue to flow in following the demise of Mama Sarah Obama.

Mama Sarah died early Monday morning at her Kogello home, Siaya county. She was 99.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has mourned the Obama family matriarch, saying she was an icon of family values and a philanthropist whose contribution to the progress of the Kenyan nation shall be dearly missed.

"The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We've lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values," he said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga remembered Sarah as a matriarch, saying she single-handedly kept the family going long after her husband departed.

“In between, she became a symbol of the resilience and confidence of the African woman with a unique capacity to face the challenges of life. She utilised her grandson President Barack Obama’s success to promote girls’ education and fight social ills through her Foundation.”

Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o in his message said Kenyans will miss her dearly.

“Mama Sarah was not only a matriarch of the larger Obama family but a motherly figure to many.

“She was a philanthropist who helped to mobilize funds to pay school fees for many and vulnerable children. She also supported many widows.”

He went on, “She was always charming and warm to those who visited her home. She was my late mother’s friend and a dear grandmother to all of us. May the Lord rest her soul in eternal peace.”

On his part, Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga described Mama Sarah as generous, loving, caring and compassionate in her passion for doing good to the poor.

“With the demise of Mama, the people of Siaya County will miss her gentle guidance on cultural matters as well as her noble works as an ambassador of the peaceful co-existence of our people,” he said in a statement.

Alego Usonga MP Sam Atandi eulogised Mama Sarah Obama as a wise woman who brought development to Kogelo village and that her role in community development will be highly missed.

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