Another US president from Kenya? Ben Carson claims Kenyan roots

Another US president from Kenya? Ben Carson claims Kenyan roots

Could the United States have another president of Kenyan decent? Perhaps so, especially after American presidential hopeful, Ben Carson, revealed that his roots are in Kenya.

The Republican candidate, who first made headlines for his stellar neurosurgical career, has stated that his ancestors are from Kenya’s Turkana tribe.

“I’ve had my roots traced back, all the way up to my great great great great-grandfather who came from the Turkana tribe, which is migratory tribe, even today in Kenya and Tanzania,” said Carson in a Daily Post Video.

The presidential candidate made these remarks as he was responding to questions about his views on Obamacare and slavery earlier this year.

On December 7th, the 64-year-old reiterated this statement on the Hugh Hewitt radio show, adding that he is planning to visit Kenya.

The trip comes as part of a week-long Africa tour where Carson is expected to visit Nigeria and Zambia in a bid to boost his foreign policy credentials.

In the interview he said: “I think a lot of our policy in the future is going to affect Africa, but those three in particular because my ancestors are from the Kenya-Tanzania region, the Turkana tribe. I’ve had all of that traced back.”

So why will he be visiting Nigeria?

“To Nigeria, I want to get an ideal (sic) from the people what the effects of Boko Haram are, what people are thinking, to see what the economic situation is there, and also there’s a medical school there named after me which I want to visit,” said the presidential hopeful.

His stopover in Zambia is, however, linked to his medical career.

“The Banda twins are there. We separated them. They were joined at the top of the head facing in opposite directions almost 18 years ago, and this is the year they graduate from high school,” he told Hewitt.

Carson said that he will begin his trip on 27th of December.

Reactions to ‘homecoming’ visit

Political pundits have criticised Carson’s announcement stating that his ‘homecoming’ trip is just a way for him to boost his foreign policy rankings.

Unlike other contenders who have garnered political experience over the years, the doctor is seen as a greenhorn-particularly when it comes to international relations.

Kenyans, on the other hand, have welcomed “another Kenyan export to the United States” with open arms.

In their typical manner, Kenyans on social media made fun of the Kenyan revelation.

The current US president, Barack Obama, was born of a Kenyan father and an American mother. He wrote about his Kenyan heritage in Dreams of My Father.

Despite his American citizenship, Kenyans have largely claimed him as their own and this was evident in his recent trip to Kenya for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Another Kenyan “export to the US” is Oscar award-winning actress, Lupita Nyongo. Nyongo, who was catapulted to fame following her role in 12 years a Slave, has acted in numerous other films including the recently released Star Wars.

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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