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Mama Sarah Obama: Kenyans will miss resilient, confident African woman whose heart beat for widows and orphans

By Queenter Mbori | March 29th 2021

Mama Sarah Obama, grandmother to Barack Obama, the former President of the United States is dead. She died at Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu today at 4.45am after a short illness.

Messages of condolences are streaming in from public leaders and citizens, describing Mama Sarah as hardworking, resilient woman who had deep passion for widows and orphaned children.

Former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga has eulogized Mama Sarah as the, “Matriarch who lived ahead of her time and was a symbol of the resilience and confidence of the African woman with a unique capacity to face the challenges of life.”

Kisumu County Governor Hon Anyang’ Nyong’o said Kenyans will dearly miss Mama Sarah, describing her as very charming and warm to those who visited her in Kogelo.

“Mama Sarah was not only a role model of the larger Obama family but also a motherly figure to many people. She was a philanthropist who helped mobilize funds to pay school fees for many orphans and vulnerable children. She also supported many widows,” read part of the official statement from the office of Kisumu County Governor.

Other leaders who have condoled with the Obama family include Siaya Senator James Orengo, Nairobi County Deputy Governor Ann Kananu, Molo MP Hon Kuria Kimani, Embakasi East MP Hon Babu Owino and Homa Bay Town MP, Hon George Peter Kaluma.

Addressing his message of sympathy to Barack Obama, Orengo said, “Your grandmother's magnetic personality and ability to care deeply for others allowed her to cultivate many lasting relationships. She will always be remembered. May the soul of Mama Sarah Obama Rest in Peace.”

Kananu has extended her deepest sympathies to family and friends of Mama Sarah Obama, to former US President Barack Obama and people of Kogelo, Siaya county. “May the soul of your grandmother be at peace with our Heavenly Father. Rest in peace Mama,” she said.

Former US President Barack Obama would go to the market with Granny Sarah. [PHOTO: COURTESY

Former US President Barack Obama describes his unique bond with ‘Granny Sarah’ in his sentimental bio, Dreams from My Father, which he authored while still a law student. 

A whole chapter is devoted to Kenya and it is written that in Kogelo Obama, would go to the market with Granny Sarah, carrying a gunia, an image that is eternally etched in time through a memorable photo.

Mama Sarah Obama was the third wife of Hussein Obama. She died at the age of 99 and will be buried in Kogelo today as per the Islamic religious customs.


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