NAIROBI, 30 March 2021 – The matriarch of former U.S. President Barack Obama, Sarah Obama, has been laid to rest in her home town of Kisumu in western Kenya.
She was 99.
Sarah Obama was laid to rest Tuesday in accordance with Muslim rites after dying Monday in a Kenyan hospital.
The illness she suffered from has not been disclosed, with a few newspapers indicating that she passed away of natural causes.
“My family and I are mourning 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,” Barack Obama wrote in a post on his Twitter handle, along with a photo of the young Obama with his grandmother.
“We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life,” Barack Obama continued in his eulogy on Twitter.
“Dani” means grandma in Luo,, the language of Barack Obama’s African grandparents.
“We’ve lost a strong, virtuous woman, a matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values,” Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in his tribute to Mama Sarah.
Barack Obama eulogized her as a “bridge to the past”.
The stories she told helped “fill a void”, the former American president, who did not get a chance to live with his father beyond the early days of his childhood, said of his granny.