Obama’s Kenyan family gets ready to party


Nairobi/Kogelo : US presidential favourite Barack Obama’s Kenyan family were gathering for an election night party in the western village of Kogelo Tuesday as US voters went to the polls.

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Around 20 family members had shown up at the senator’s ancestral home in Kogelo, where his grandmother Sarah Obama still lives.

Journalists and well-wishers were locked out of the Obama household as the party got under way.

One of Obama’s cousins slaughtered a cow for the festive meal, as the family anticipates a long night, watching the results come in.

“We are all praying,” said Auma Obama, the youngest sister of Obama’s late Kenyan father with a proud toothless smile. “It was a sad day when I took my brother’s body home to Kogelo, but today might be a day of joy and celebration for our family.”

Senator Obama is considered a hero in the East African nation.

Obama fever has swept the nation in the days running up to the election and huge crowds are expected in the town of Kisumu, near Kogelo, where the BBC’s Swahili service is on from Monday night transmitting coverage of the elections on a big screen.

In Nairobi, crowds were flocking to see the Tuesday night performance of Obama the Musical at the Kenyan National Theatre.

In Kogelo dispensary centre, the party was getting going late afternoon, with people wearing orange Stetsons sporting Obama’s picture.

Yuanita Obiero, headmistress of the Senator Obama secondary school – the only secondary school in the region – said that the school may change its name to President Obama School should he win the election.

“We hope he will visit our school as US president,” she said.