Exposé: How Obama dumped his family for eight years
An inside look at the Obamas’ life of false hope and dejection endured for nearly a decade and how Malik’s recent public defiance to support his brother’s rival Donald Trump is only the tip of the iceberg – writes IA’s East Africa Editor Elvis Mboya.
US President Obama neglected his father’s family since taking office in 2008. His brother Malik’s recent rebelliousness only mirrors the silent pain of false hopes that his father’s family have endured for close to two decades. Malik’s latest rage is just a tip of the bigger picture – a deeply troubled family angry with how younger Obama mistreated them since he became the most important person in the World.
Malik, who was President Obama’s best man at his wedding with wife Michelle in October 3, 1992, and the president returning favour when he became his best man too, is a bitter man capable of vengeance and thinks only Donald Trump possesses an arsenal he can use to strike back at his estranged brother. As the first born son of Barack Hussein Obama Senior, in his father’s absence according to Luo tradition, he has the birthright to lead his family in battle and peacemaking.
Here in Kenya’s Kanyadhiang’ village in Kendu Bay where remnants of his father’s relatives live and to a larger Kogelo extension, multiple interviews Investigative Africa conducted with President Obama’s family reveals an inside story of accumulated rage suppressed since 2008 when their own became US president. That, Obama is soon leaving the most powerful office in the Universe early next year having done essentially nothing to help his father’s poor family, is a wild storm raging inside them. But, only Malik has the guts, bequest to publicly defy.
And that’s why Malik was more than willing to attend US presidential debate in University of Nevada Las Vegas last week Wednesday to endorsed Donald Trump to replace his brother in the Oval Office – a perfect platform, perfect timing for his retribution. Grippingly, Malik is a Kenyan born Muslim, a naturalized US citizen with several wives and children living in America. He belongs to a profiled assemblage who Trump wants deported and restrained from entering US soil. Why would he support his brother’s rival who rose to national political stardom by question Obama’s real birthplace and likely to kick his family out if he assumed presidency?
Hypocrisy of Obama’s ‘family value’ sermon
In Kenya, a country where Diaspora remittance clocked $1.6 billion (about KSh163 billion) in 2015 alone, according to Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) Statistics January 2016 – monies used for family upkeep, school fees, and personal investments – the famous son of a Kenyan Harvard educated economist, according to his relatives has nothing to show for eight years straight as president. He has not visited his family at home, sponsored any poor relative to school, fed anyone, assisted school and charity organizations named in his family’s honour or build his own house at home.
Further, President Obama failed to pay pilgrimage to his ancestors in his father’s graveyard during his tenure and even when he came to Kenya last year, he skipped arranged family home-cooked food and welcoming party. Instead he was holed in Nairobi’s prestigious Villa Rosa Kempinski Hotel – family completely shut out by CIA from his routine itinerary. “The villagers are complaining because they had hoped to see him but he’s on a tight schedule. It would have been nice even just to shake his hand,” said his brother George Obama who has not met president Obama since 2006.
A life of squalor, dejection
President Obama’s only surviving grandmother Sarah Obama aged 95, who laboured to meet and plead with him to come home, is living off freebies from Mama Sarah Obama Foundation she founded to feed and clothe children orphaned by HIV/Aids. Senator Obama Primary School, named in his honour in 2006 after he clinched Illinois Senatorial seat, remain just like other poor rural public schools and has nothing to show befitting its prestigious name.
Barack H Obama Foundation founded by Malik, but according to him, president Obama rubbished the idea. “My brother didn’t help me at all,” Malik said. “He wanted me to shut it down when I set it up. He hasn’t supported me at all.” This week, Malik promised to re-launch the idea “Now that my brother is getting out of office,” he posted on his Twitter handle.
And after battling deportation for many years Obama’s Aunt Zeituni Onyango whom he affectionately referred to as ‘Auntie Zeituna’ in his 1995 memoir ‘Dreams From My Father’, died in Boston hospital in April 2014. President Obama never intervene her deportation, never visited her in hospital, and never attended her funeral church service in Boston and burial in Muslim Cemetery in Kisumu. Instead, he was seen playing golf as his family mourns, according to Daily Mail. After her burial, Daily Nation summed her life: ‘Obama’s aunt led a life of squalor, died alone and dejected’.
To date, the late Zeituna’s first husband Hebel Mboya Okoko of Lake Simbi Kogembo village in Kendu Bay is a remarried village labourer toiling to reunite his children scattered across Kenya and abroad.
When recently interviewed by Fox News, Malik said that his brother seems to be too busy to meet his family. He’s “disappointed” in his half-brother, “It’s too formal. It’s like he’s busy, maybe he’s got this line of all these people, you know, want to see him…So it would have been nice, if let’s say, maybe I could go have dinner with him.” In response, White House responded that the president is unfazed by latest family jabs.
Healing wounds of false hopes
Obama’s family pride of belonging to ‘royalty’ blood is bleeding and has turned into silent pain. But now, Malik is venting it out. For in Africa a person who is blessed with more in the family tries to help uplift members of extended family in need – and especially if that person is the president of the United States of America. But they are now watching mouth open as Barack who carries the Obama’s family shining torch is counting his last days in office. Facing sunset days in White House, a relative bemoaned “he is of no use to us even if he comes back since he never bothered to do anything when he had the chance”.
It’s not only relatives in Kogelo and Kendu Bay who remain unsatisfied. Given the president’s familial connection to Africa, many expected Obama to transform America’s relationship with the continent. That hasn’t happened. The White House has launched an initiative to expand access to electricity across the continent, youth entrepreneurship and funding for public health and counterterrorism programs has increased, but by most measures, Africa has remained on the periphery of Obama’s foreign policy agenda.
Initial expectations of Black-Americans seem toned down after several black killings went unscathed under a black president’s watch, Africans moved on and to deal with their corrupt governments. For other Kenyans just being associated with Obama’s ancestry is enough fodder to sustain bragging rights. But for his father’s family, the battle to heal wounds of false hope and to finally face reality has just begun.