Former US Barack Obama arrives on Sunday for a much-anticipated visit as a private person, Citizen Obama considered a son of the soil and a beloved celebrity.
Another superstar, Oprah Winfrey, will not travel to Kenya with Obama this weekend but will join him in South Africa.Winfrey is among 350 celebrities and notables travelling to Africa together with Obama. He will be in Kenya on Sunday and Monday before flying to South Africa for a series of events, primarily the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture.
Obama and his guests will attend the launch of Sauti Kuu, his half-sister Auma Obama’s NGO for youth empowerment, in Kogelo, Siaya County (Western Kenya) on Monday.
Before they head to Kogelo, Obama and his family will pay a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta and meet Opposition leader Raila Odinga in a tightly scheduled programme.
While withholding details of Obama’s itinerary, immediate former State House spokesman Manoa Esipisu confirmed that Obama will meet Uhuru on Sunday before leaving for Siaya.
Details of Obama’s arrival time and his tops are closely guarded for security reasons, but sources indicate that the ex-President will land on Sunday afternoon.
This will be his first visit to Kenya since leaving office on January 20 last year. He has visited Kenya three other times, in 1987, 1992 and in 2015 when serving his second term in the White House.
Unlike the 2015 visit when Obama became first sitting US President to visit Kenya, on this trip he is travelling as a private citizen, albeit a celebrity.
Barry, as Kogelo residents fondly call Obama, will find a spruced-up village, complete with power connection, tarmacked roads, a big hotel and a police post right at the gate of his grand