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technology 25 Nov 2019

Mama Sarah Obama dies in Kisumu County

By Waiswa Wafula

The grandmother to former US president Barack Obama has passed away at the age of 99 years. Mama Sarah Onyango Obama died at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital in Kisumu on Monday at 4:25am.

According to her daughter Masat Obama, Mama Sarah was admitted at Avenue hospital last week before being moved to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Hospital on Sunday where she died.

Mama Sarah Obama was the third wife of Hussein Obama, the father of Barack Obama and was the second born from a family of twelve children.

Sheikh Musa Isamail Haji, the Kisumu Muslim Association Chairman said Mama Sarah will be buried according to Muslim religious customs at her home in Kogelo on Tuesday March 30th. Sheikh Musa also denied any claims of the death being Covid-19 related.

She was tested on Sunday and the results were negative. She didn’t die because of Covid-19,” he said.

He said that the former US president has received the information about the passing on of Mama Sarah and sent his condolence to the family.

“He is in touch with the family and he is saddened by the sad news,” he said.

On learning of the death, President Kenyatta mourned the Obama family matriarch as an icon of family values and a philanthropist whose contribution to the progress of the Kenyan nation shall be dearly missed.

ODM leader Raila Odinga also mourned Mama Sarah as a “matriarch who lived ahead of her time” and “a symbol of the resilience and confidence of the African Woman with a unique capacity to face the challenges of life.”

Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o appreciated Mama Sarah’s efforts in supporting windows and mobilize funds to pay for the fees of any children. According to Prof Nyong’o, the late Mama Sarah Obama was his late mother’s great friend “and a dear grandmother to all of us”.

“Mama Sarah Obama was not only a matriarch of the larger Obama family but a mother figure to many people. She was a philanthropist who helped to mobilise funds to pay school fees to many orphans and vulnerable children. She also supported many widows. May her soul rest in peace,” said the Kisumu governor.