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Sarah Obama heads to Nairobi to meet powerful grandson

Mama Obama left the Kisumu International Airport shortly after 11am accompanied by a few family members/FILE

Mama Obama left the Kisumu International Airport shortly after 11am accompanied by a few family members/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 24 – Mama Sarah Obama arrived in Nairobi Friday to meet her grandson, US President Barack Obama, who was expected to jet in later.

Sarah Obama who flew in from Kisumu was accompanied by a few family members who will hold a private meeting with Obama in Nairobi.

She looked excited as she interacted with journalists and Kisumu City residents who had thronged the Kisumu International Airport.

“I am going to meet him and talk to him face-to-face, I will sleep at the same hotel as he my grandson,” she said.

Sarah Obama had carried a traditional stool which she expected to hand over to the US President.

“If he agrees to come to Kogelo, I will prepare for him anything that he asks for even the bitter vegetables that he likes because he has not come to visit the graveside of his late father, but I leave that to God,” Mama Sarah said.

It is understood that Obama had planned to visit his ancestral home in Kogelo.

Obama is headed to Kenya after departing Washington with a delegation of some of his top officials for an African tour that is bringing him to Kenya and Ethiopia.

He is accompanied on the trip by his National Security Advisor Susan Rice, foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes and White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

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As he winds down his presidency, Obama said his visit to Kenya and Ethiopia gives me an opportunity to focus on a region that he had not been visiting as president.

“It is important first of all that the president of the United States underscores our commitment to partnering with countries around the world, even though we’re not intimidated by terrorist organisations. The counterterrorism co-operation between the United States and Kenya and other countries in East Africa is very strong and part of the subject of the visit is to continue to strengthen those ties to make them more effective,” the US President said during an interview with the BBC.

President Obama said he is looking forward to becoming the first US President to address the African Union when he travels on to Ethiopia on Sunday.

“So I’ll be the first US president to not only visit Kenya and Ethiopia, but also to address the continent as a whole, building off the African summit that we did here which was historic and has, I think, deepened the kinds of already strong relationships that we have across the continent,” he said.

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