Barack Obama is mourning the loss of his grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama.
The former president of the United States took to Instagram on Monday, revealing that the matriarch of his Kenyan family has passed away. He was at least 99 years old.
“My family and I are in mourning for 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,” Obama’s message began. “Born in the first quarter of the last century, in Nyanza Province on the shores of Lake Victoria, she had no formal education and, in the manner of her tribe, she married a much older man when she was just a teenager. the rest of his life in the small town of Alego, in a small house built with mud and straw bricks and without electricity or indoor plumbing. There he raised eight children, tended his goats and chickens, grew a variety of crops, and took what the family did not use to sell at the local outdoor market. “
“Although I was not her biological mother, Grandma would raise my father as her own, and it was partly because of her love and encouragement that she was able to defy the odds and do well enough in school to earn a scholarship to attend an American university, “he continued. “When our family struggled, their home was a refuge for their children and grandchildren, and their presence was a constant and stabilizing force. When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and my father, who had by then passed away. It was grandmother who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart. “
Obama added that over the course of her life, “Granny would witness epochal changes around the world,” such as the world war, liberation movements, moon landings and the advent of the computer age. “
“He would live to fly jets, receive visitors from all over the world and see one of his grandchildren being elected to the presidency of the United States,” he explained. “And yet her essential spirit, strong, proud, hard-working, unimpressed with conventional status marks and full of common sense and good humor, never changed. We will miss her dearly, but we will gratefully celebrate her long and remarkable life. . “
According to The Associated Press, Mama Sarah promoted education for girls and orphans in her rural village of Kogelo. He died around 4 a.m. local time on Monday, the outlet reports, while receiving treatment at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga teaching and referral hospital in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city.
“He died this morning,” said his daughter, Marsat Onyango. AP. “We are devastated.”
“Mom was sick with normal illnesses. She did not die from COVID-19, ”added family spokesman Sheik Musa Ismail, sharing that she tested negative for the coronavirus after being taken to hospital for feeling ill for a week.
Hear more about the Obamas in the video below.