Obama to Kenyans: I love you too


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Barack Obama remembered his first Kenyan trip with nostalgia as he gave a public address at the Safaricom Indoor Gymnasium in Kasarani.

And when a member of the crowd shouted, “we love you” Obama replied, “I love you too”.

The leader of the free world told the crowd that it was during his first trip to Kenya that his name first meant something.

He acknowledged that he received, in his first trip, something that was more valuable to him than luxury, a “sense of being seen.”

He told the crowd that he had lost his bags at the airport and when he was filling in the forms to help him trace his luggage, the attendant recognised his name and asked him whether he was related to Barack Obama Sr.

“Up until my trip to Kenya, my name had never meant anything,” said Obama.

He remembered that his trip to Kenya was not as pleasant and luxurious as the one he took on Friday.

His sister Auma picked him up in an old beat-up Volkswogen Beetle that broke down at least five times during his stay in the country and they had to call the ‘jua kali’.

Obama intimated that he slept in his sister Auma’s tiny apartment on a camping bed behind the couch and the lights would sometimes go out.

He laughed when a member of the audience shouted that the lights still go out.

It is true that Obama gets us as his sister Auma had said, “he gets ugali, omena, chapati and githeri”.

He praised the warmth of the Kenyan people and expressed gratitude for the rousing welcome he received in his trip.

The US president made his first trip to Kenya in 1988 to trace his roots, a story he shared in his book ‘Dreams of My Father’.

And find his roots he did. The US head of state retraced his roots and learnt about his grandfather, father and other members of his Kenyan family.

He told the crowd that it was important to know history because then you can learn the important lessons therein.

 

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Obama to Kenyans: I love you too
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Story By Lisa Kamau
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