Tributes are pouring in for Sarah Obama – the matriarch of the Obama family. She was the step-grandmother of former US President Barrack Obama.
She died on Monday morning at a hospital in western Kenya.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has eulogised her as a virtuous woman “and an icon of family values”.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga hailed the late Mrs Obama for her leadership after her husband’s death.
“She utilised her grandson’s rise to promote the education of girls and fight social ills through her foundation,” Mr Odinga said.
President Obama’s half-sister, Auma Obama, has tweeted that her “heart is broken”, but added that she was “blessed to have her for so long”.
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o said the late Mrs Obama was “charming and warm” to everyone who visited her Kogelo village home.
The governor said Mrs Obama succumbed after a short undisclosed illness.
"The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation🇰🇪. We've lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values," ~President Uhuru Kenyatta
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) March 29, 2021
In the passing of Mama Sarah Obama, we have lost a matriarch who lived ahead of her time. She single-handedly kept the family going long after the husband departed. pic.twitter.com/v2AxeNKw6N
— Raila Odinga (@RailaOdinga) March 29, 2021
Just lost the most important person in my life – my gran, Mama Sarah. My heart is broken! But as I write, not able to stop the tears from pouring, I know I was blessed to have her for so long! My inspiration, my rock, my comfort zone, my safe space. Rest in peace Dani! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/GkkKrL4oYb
— Auma Obama (@AumaObama) March 29, 2021