Former U.S. President Barack Obama mourns his grandmother Sarah Obama
Former U.S. President Barack Obama has mourned his grandmother Mama Sarah Obama who passed on early Monday morning.
Obama, taking to social media, said Mama Sarah was affectionately referred to by her grandchildren as ‘Dani’ or ‘Granny.’
He added that even though the family will miss her, they will instead choose to celebrate her long lif.
“My family and I are mourning the loss of our beloved grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, affectionately known to many as “Mama Sarah” but known to us as “Dani” or Granny. We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life,” he wrote.
The former U.S. Head of State narrated Mama Sarah’s early life in the village, with no formal education, being married off to an older man.
“Born in the first quarter of the last century, in Nyanza Province, on the shores of Lake Victoria, she had no formal schooling, and in the ways of her tribe, she was married off to a much older man while only a teen, “ he stated.
“She would spend the rest of her life in the tiny village of Alego, in a small home built of mud-and thatch brick and without electricity or indoor plumbing. There she raised eight children, tended to her goats and chickens, grew an assortment of crops, and took what the family didn’t use to sell at the local open-air market.”
Obama credited Mama Sarah with contributing to his father’s original success by taking him in and bringing him up despite the fact that she was not his biological mother.
“Although not his birth mother, Granny would raise my father as her own, and it was in part thanks to her love and encouragement that he was able to defy the odds and do well enough in school to get a scholarship to attend an American university. When our family had difficulties, her homestead was a refuge for her children and grandchildren, and her presence was a constant, stabilizing force,” he wrote.
“When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and father, who had passed away by then, it was Granny who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart. During the course of her life, Granny would witness epochal changes taking place around the globe: world war, liberation movements, moon landings, and the advent of the computer age.”
He further added: “ She would live to fly on jets, receive visitors from around the world, and see one of her grandsons get elected to the United States presidency. And yet her essential spirit—strong, proud, hard-working, unimpressed with conventional marks of status and full of common sense and good humor—never changed.”
Mama Sarah passed on at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital after a short illness on Monday at around 4.45am.
She is set to be buried on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at her home in Kogelo, Siaya County.
Kisumu Muslim Association Chairman Sheikh Musa Ismail, who is also the spokesperson of the Mama Sarah Obama family, said her body has since already been moved to Siaya.
Sheikh Ismail said the decision to bury Mama Sarah on Tuesday under Muslim rites was arrived at following family consultations.
Auma Obama eulogised her grandmother Mama Sarah as her rock and inspiration, adding that she was the most important person in her life.
“Just lost the most important person in my life – my gran, Mama Sarah. My heart is broken! But as I write, not able to stop the tears from pouring, I know I was blessed to have her for so long! My inspiration, my rock, my comfort zone, my safe space. Rest in peace Dani,” she wrote.
Several leaders led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga have since come out to express their condolences to the family of the deceased.