Mrs Keziah Grace Obama, the first wife of Obama senior, arrived in the country on Saturday night aboard Kenya Airways Flight 103 from London. She will be in the country for three weeks before returning to her base in Bracknell, Buckshire County in the UK.
Although she did not accept a formal interview, Mrs Obama, who is in her early 60s, chatted freely. She was in a wheelchair, as she has recently undergone hip replacement surgery. She had a badge with Senator Obama’s portrait pinned to her lapel and wore an orange dress and headscarf. A Kenya Airways attendant wheeled her through the airport.
Asked in dholuo why she was in orange colours, she laughed and said, "Wuoda (my son), you know orange is the colour of change in Kenya. We want change we can believe."
Interestingly, in his book, Dreams From My Father, Senator Obama recalls how, together with his stepsister Auma Obama, he drove to Kariokor flats one night, which he says is a sprawling apartment complex surrounded by dirt lots.
Her brother Walter Nyandega, son Benard, nephew Sashule and niece Olga Nyandega met Mrs Obama at the airport. She said she wants to see her stepson win the US presidential election.
"I decided to come back home and watch it with our mother in Kogelo. It’s a moment we are all looking forward to," she said, adding that all the Obamas across the world would converge at Kogelo on November 4, the day America votes in its next leader.
Mrs Obama revealed how, since the Senator’s star started rising, she has been unable to leave her home in the UK. "Paparazzi are all over my place. They have been camping at my doors for a while. Some of them followed me to the airport yesterday (Saturday)," she said.
To cement Kenyans’ support for Obama, Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a surprise visit to Sarah Obama’s home at Kogelo village, Siaya District. She is Obam’s stepgrandmother. Raila briefly spoke to both local and international journalists stationed outside the home, before holding a closed-door meeting with close family members, which lasted for about 20 minutes.
Dressed in a yellow dress with black spots, Sarah, 86, said: "I am happy that the Prime Minster has visited us today, and I am praying that my grandson wins."
Raila said Kenya stands to gain if Obama wins the election. He said an Obama presidency would see Kenya, and Africa as a whole, get more attention in terms of trade from the superpower.