Barack Obama’s grandmother buried in Kenya

Sarah Obama became a celebrity figure in Kenya following Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya in in 2006, two years before he was elected U.S. President. /Ben Curtis/AP
Sarah Obama became a celebrity figure in Kenya following Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya in in 2006, two years before he was elected U.S. President. /Ben Curtis/AP

Former U.S. President Barack Obama’s grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, was buried on Tuesday at her home in Kogelo in Siaya County, Kenya.

The burial ceremony was conducted in line with Islamic rites after a brief funeral attended by government officials, including Raychelle Omamo, the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Sarah died on Monday aged 99 after a short illness.

She was the third wife of the former U.S. president’s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama.

Following the confirmation of her demise, Obama paid a moving tribute in her honor, hailing her as a “strong, proud, hard-working” woman.

“We will miss her dearly, but celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life,” wrote Obama.

Sarah became a celebrity figure in Kenya following Obama’s visit to Kenya in in 2006, two years before he was elected to his first presidential term and while he was still a U.S. senator for Illinois.

Obama last physical interactions with Sarah came when he made two more visits to Kenya, once in 2015 as President and the other in 2018 after he left office.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta also joined his country in mourning the death of Sarah, hailing her as “a matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values.”

“She was a loving and celebrated philanthropist who graciously shared the little she had with the less fortunate in her community,” the President said.