Barack Obama’s Grandmother, Sarah Obama, Dies At 99

KOGELO, KENYA - February 5 :  Sarah Hussein Obama, 86, the grandmother of Presidential candidate Barak Obama poses in her simple country home awaiting the results of Super Tuesday's primary February 5, 2008 in Kogelo, Kenya. Ethnic tribal conflicts in western Kenya have calmed down over the past few daysas negotiations continue. Over 300 thousand people have been driven from their homes creating a humanitarian disaster, sparked by December's disputed elections. According to the Red Cross the death toll has surpassed 1,000. Talks to end the political crisis are on going as Kenya's economy has been hit hard by the violence.
  (Photo Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

Barack Obama’s Grandmother, Sarah Obama, Dies At 99

She reportedly passed away at a Kenyan hospital.

Published 2 weeks ago

Written by Paul Meara

Sarah Obama, Barack Obama’s grandmother and matriarch of the former president’s Kenyan family, has passed away. She was 99.

Fondly known as Mama Sarah, Obama was Barack’s step-grandmother and promoted education for girls and orphans in her rural Kogelo village.

According to the Associated Press, Sarah Obama passed away at around 4 a.m. local time while being treated at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital in Kisumu.

“She died this morning. We are devastated,” daughter Marsat Onyango told the AP via phone.

“Mama was sick with normal diseases; she did not die of COVID-19,” Sheik Musa Ismail, a family spokesman, said, adding that she had tested negative for the disease. Ismail said Obama had been ill for a week before being taken to the hospital.

Via Twitter, the 44th President sent condolences to his family.

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“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,” Barack tweeted with a photo of himself as a child with his grandmother. “We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life.”

The AP reports Sarah Obama will be buried on Tuesday (March 30) during a funeral under Islamic rites.

Sarah Obama was the second wife of President Obama’s grandfather and helped raise his father, Barack Obama, Sr. The family is part of Kenya’s Luo ethnic group.

In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama referred to Mama Sara as “Granny” and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to his father’s homeland. She later attended his first inauguration as president in 2009.

For decades, Sarah Obama helped raise orphans, even raising some of them in her home. The Mama Sarah Obama Foundation helped provide food and education to orphans. School supplies and medical needs were among the resources the program assisted with.

 

Photo: Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

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