Barack Obama’s Kenyan grandmother dies, aged 99

Barack Obama’s step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, has died at a hospital in Kenya at the age of 99.

She died early on Monday at a hospital in the western town of Kisumu, her daughter Marsat Onyango told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper.

A family spokesman said Mrs Obama had been unwell for a week, but did not have Covid-19.

She will be buried later on Monday.

Affectionately called Granny Sarah by the former president, Mrs Obama defended her grandson during his 2008 presidential campaign, when he was said to be Muslim and not born in the US.

Before her grandson became a household name, Sarah Obama was well known for the hot porridge and doughnuts she served at a local school, AFP reports.

For decades, she ran a foundation in Kenya to help educate orphans and girls, something she felt strongly about as she couldn’t read herself.

Sarah Obama was born in 1922 in a village on Lake Victoria, according to AFP. She was a Muslim and part of Kenya’s Luo ethnic group.

She was the third wife of Hussein Onyango Obama, President Obama’s paternal grandfather.

Her home became a tourist attraction when Obama was elected as the first black US president.

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