Sarah Onyango Obama, grandmother of U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, peers through a curtain at her home in the village of Kongelo, western Kenya, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2008. In the western city of Kisumu, where Said Obama lives, police shot and killed four people on Wednesday, trying to prevent thousands of rowdy protesters from entering the city center. But most of Barack Obama’s relatives, including his 86-year-old grandmother, Sarah, live in a rural area nearby that has been unaffected by the violence. (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale)
It was utter jubilation all across Kenya as Barack Obama reclaimed his seat in the Oval Office after a bitter election campaign.
In the Kisumu town of Kogelo, located 367 miles west of the capital city of Nairobi, lies the birthplace of the president’s late father, Barack Obama, Sr. Villagers were beside themselves with joy upon hearing the news that their native son had again won his bid for the nation’s highest office. Among those leading the Kenyan village revelers was the president’s 91-year-old step grandmother, Sarah Onyango Obama (pictured).
Hundreds of villagers sat on pins and needles before a huge outdoor TV screen as they listened to the election results streaming in from American news stations. When it election was called for Obama, there was thunderous clapping and cheering.
Sarah, who raised her cane in sheer excitement upon hearing the news, spoke to the droves of journalists who had invaded President Obama’s ancestral homeland to capture the reactions of the people.
“I was not devastated at heart because I had full faith and confidence that he was going to win,” the proud nonagenarian told the scrambling reporters at a press conference.
Meanwhile, the towns people sang songs, drank “Senator” beers, danced in the streets, raised bicycles in the air in celebration of Obama’s win. The merry-making carried on into the wee hours of the night. But Kogelo was not the only village in high gear over Obama’s reelection. The president’s childhood home of Jakarta also had their fair share of celebrations.
Obama moved to Jakarta when he was six-years-old after his mother remarried an Indonesian. The family lived there until he was ten. Though Chicago was on and poppin’ after hearing of their hometown hero winning a second term, the rest of world was right their with them.