When President Barack Obama made public his intention to visit Kenya later in July, many would think he would be visiting his family… But that is certainly not the case as President Obama is not officially scheduled to visit his ancestral home when he visits East Africa this week.
And in fact, as it stands, new reports indicate that his family do not even know the details. According to Daily Mail, the 57-year old Malik Abon’go Obama, his half brother, is still waiting to be informed:
Blomberg reported that President Obama’s Malik Abon’go Obama who was the best man at Obama’s wedding is particularly let down by the planned journey of President Obama in Kenya. Malik announced his disappointment when he demanded that it would have been nice if Obama’s had at least informed his family in Kenya. In an interview at his home in Kogelo, Malik Abon’go expressed his displeasure thus:
“From what I hear, he is coming now as the president of the United States, he should have at least informed us as his family.
I would like for us to just sit down and have a vanilla ice cream or a strawberry fruit cake, just to have a nice dinner, nice steak, Caesar salad, sit down and enjoy each other, I really don’t know my nieces, Malia and Sasha and they don’t know my children either”.
Malik Obama is not only the one disappointed by the secrecy of the itinerary of President Barrack’s visit. Obama’s 94-year old step-grandmother Sarah Obama said it has been made obvious that Obama’s trip is rather to see the people of Kenya than her to know how his family members are faring.
While his scheduled journey to Kenya has been kept secret and the Kenyan presidency has denied that Obama will visit Kogelo, his home which is 193 miles northwest of Nairobi during his July 24 visit, people have been circulating rumors that he will probably pay a short visit there. The people of Kogelo are anticipating that President Obama will not visit Kenya without at least coming to say hi to his family. This anticipation is mixed with heavy excitement throughout Kogelo.
The way Kenya prepares to welcome Obama on Friday to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in the capital of Nairobi, so are the Kogelo people prepare for the arrival of the President. In Nairobi, crews are seen beautifying streets, repairing traffic lights, replacing old signs, and business owners are spiffing up their storefronts and sidewalks.
In Kogelo, which is approximately 200 miles northwest of the capital, villagers have erected an Obama statue to mark the president’s visit. Local officials have modernized his father’s grave while Merchants are already selling Obama T-shirts, jeans and portraits.
Janet Atieno, a woman planting flowers at the Kogelo Village Resort hotel said
“President Obama should find his home clean, in case the president drops by. We’ve been cleaning the village since the news of his visit was announced.”
Keep in mind that President Obama is not particularly close with his father’s side of the family as the president’s mother and his father were ripped apart by divorce after three years of marriage. Still, his grandmother said she wanted to catch a sight of him once more.
“We’re prepared to host him,” said Mama Sarah Obama — whom the president refers to as “Granny” in his memoir.
In all, we can’t say whether or not it is going to be a win-win situation for the villagers as well as his family, but we do hope the President of will not disappoint by turning down this huge anticipation. Well, whatever happens, the president’s visit to Kenya is already a big gain to all Kenyans.