Auma reveals details of Obama’s first trip to Kenya


Obama Auma
Obama Auma

Dr. Auma Obama was glowing with pride as she introduced her younger brother, U.S. President Barack Obama, to Kenyans at Safaricom Indoor Arena in Kasarani on Sunday.

Auma, who made headlines for the emotional welcome she gave Obama when he arrived on Friday, recalled his first trip to Kenya in the 1980’s.

“When he first came to Kenya, Obama did not have ‘the presidential suit’ he has now. The guy slept on camping bed behind my couch in my tiny flat,” remembered Auma.

Auma spoke candidly of Obama’s maiden trip, narrating how she picked him up from the airport in a rickety old car.

“I once took my brother from the airport in a battered old Volkswagen Beatle. 27 years later he returned the favour at the same airport by giving me a ride in the The Beast,” said Auma.

She revealed that Obama has eaten Kenyan food such as omena Ugali. nyoyo, rech, chapati and sukuma wiki.

Her sentiments were echoed by Obama who added that the car broke down severally during his visit, and they had to call jua kali artisans to fix it.

He added that meeting his Kenyan family was significant in his journey because it gave him a sense of belonging.

 

Worrying about her little brother

While noting that circumstances have changed over the past 30 years, Auma reiterated that Obama still holds hold his Kenyan family close.

“My brother is not lost. He also continues to be closely attached to us (his family) and his to his Kenyan heritage. He is one of us, but we are happy to share him with the rest of the world,” Auma said.

Touching on his presidency, Auma thanked American citizens for trusting her brother with “the most difficult job in world”. She, however, conceded that she often worries about little brother.

“Sometimes I am worried about him. When I do, I remember that he told me that when he signed up for that job: he read the job description very carefully so we should not worry about him,” she said.

Auma, who is a Kenyan based development worker, emphasized the importance of self-determination.

“Poverty is not an excuse. We have to do it for ourselves, no matter how little you have. You are responsible for your future,” she said emphatically.

Auma has written a book about her life titled And Then Life Happens, where she tells the story of her American brother “Barry” and the complex relationship she had with their father Barack Obama Sr.

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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