Mama Sarah Onyango Obama, 99 the grandmother of former US President Barrack Obama has died on Monday morning prompting outpourings of grief and condolence messages from Kenyan leaders.
She passed on while receiving treatment at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu where she was admitted on Sunday morning.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was among the first leaders to condole with the Obama family. The president described her as an icon of family values and a philanthropist whose contribution to the progress of the Kenyan nation shall be dearly missed.
“The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We’ve lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values,” stated president Uhuru.
Former Prime Minister and ODM leader Raila Odinga also sent a message of condolence to the Obama family shortly after the family confirmed her demise.
Raila tweeted that Mama Sarah was an African woman with a unique capacity to face the challenges of life.
“She utilized her grandson Barack Obama’s rise to promote the education of girls and fight social ills through her Foundation,” eulogized Raila.
He described her as a matriarch who went out of her way and single-handedly kept the family going long after the husband departed. Mama Sarah was the third wife of Hussein Obama.
Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o also expressed grief over Mama Sarah’s death that occurred in the county.
In a brief statement, Nyong’o eulogized the deceased as charming and a warm character to her visitors. He noted that the late grandmother played a pivotal role of being a role model and a motherly figure to many people.
“She was a philanthropist who helped to mobilize funds to help pay school fees for many orphans and supported widows,” read the statement.
Mama Sarah Obama had initiated many community development projects at her Nyang’oma Kogelo home in Siaya County.
According to her daughter, Marsat Obama, the family intends to bury her in Kogelo later today as per the Islamic customs.
By Robert Ojwang’