Kenyan Philanthropist: Sarah Onyango Obama
Barack Obama’s grandmother, known endearingly as Mama Sarah has died at the age of 99. She fell sick, unknown ailment, and was admitted to a hospital in Kisumu, Western Kenja. The hospital provided treatments but ultimately the treatments weren’t able to save her. She passed on at approximately 4 AM on March 29,2021.
Flocks of villiagers, friends and relatives stopped by Mama Sarah’s home to see the body and offer their condolences. Some mourners, according to their culture, performed mock fights with death that they deemed responsible for taking a respected woman from their comunity.
Mama Sarah, born as Sarah Onyango Obama is survived by legacy of service. She dedicated her life to service of widows and children in her homeland of Kenya. Sarah Onyango Obama was the third wife of Barack Obama’s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama in which the former president was named. Of course, Mama Sarah became notorious in Africa but not just for her acts of service but beause of her famous grandson. During Obama’s presidency, everyone in Kenya celebrated her grandson’s inaugaration and time in office. Obama’s grandmother even attended events at the White House. Mama Sarah utilized the fame of her grandson to promote her foundation to educate Kenyan girls.
A life Dedicated to Service.
Sarah Onyango Obama lived a noble life dedicated to the service of others. Mama Sarah’s philanthropy stemmed from her islamic faith. Witnessing a need for assistance for the growing number of orphan children in her country, Mama Sarah rose to the occasion to provide help. Ultimately, Mama Sarah even adopted several orphans and created a number of programs to help meet these needs.
During an interview with an international media house, Sarah Onyango Obama shared, “I have supported these orphans in paying their school fees, and now seeing them about to graduate from universities brings me immense joy. There are many success stories that keep me happy and motivated.”
Mourning a Hero.
Obama’s grandmother helped woman and children that were orphaned due to rampant epidemic, HIV and AIDS. Sarah Onyango Obama’s service was through her initiative, Safeguard Orphans and Widows Organization (SAWO). Mama Sarah was an educator and worked diligently to provide education and nutrition for many at risk youth. Her efforts were turned into the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation. She also received the United Nations’ Pioneer award.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta expressed, “Mama Sarah’s passing is a significant loss for our nation. She was a strong, virtuous woman and the pillar of the Obama family, representing family values. She was a beloved philanthropist, generously helping the less fortunate in her community with whatever she had.”
Barack Obama’s Role Model
This amazing woman may be responsible for the man, Barack Obama, we got to witness in office. It appears that the same greatness and willingness to help the disadvantage was passed on to her grandson, former president, Barack Obama. During his time in office, President Obama was awarded a noble peace prize for strengthening international diplomacy. He also signed legislature that prosecuted hate crimes, legalized gay marriage, and gave much need aid to Haiti. And, like his grandmother, helped strengthen the school system for disadvantage youth by granting funds for underperforming schools.
Barack Obama released the following statement regarding the passing of his grandmother. “We are grieving the loss of our dear grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, affectionately known as ‘Mama Sarah’ to many but ‘Dani’ or Granny to us. We will miss her greatly but will also celebrate her long and extraordinary life with gratitude.”
And, what an amaing life to celebrate. Kenya is missing their matriarchal hero. Barack Obama grieves his granny. The world mourns alongside them as she is laid to rest in her beloved homeland, Kenya. Sarah Onyango Obama may you rest in peace. May your legacy inspire more greatness and acts of service as you live on in the lives of those who know you and your work.