« | »

Where Is Obama’s Paternal Grandmother?

Now that the election is over and the family’s media embargo has been lifted, there are now endless stories in the press about the celebrations in Kenya.

They all heavily feature Obama’s purported paternal grandmother, such as this one from Der Spiegel:

Sarah Hussein Obama, grandmother to U.S. President-elect Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), smiles during a news conference at her home in Nyangoma Kogelo village, 430km (257 miles) west of Kenya’s capital Nairobi, November 5, 2008.

Obama’s Granny Celebrates Victory

By Horand Knaup in Kogelo, Kenya


America isn’t the only place with a new hero. Kongelo, a small village deep in the heart of western Kenya also feted a famous son on Wednesday. The election festivities for Barack Obama’s relatives included slaughtering an ox…

One kilometer away, Obama’s 86-year-old grandmother Sarah Obama spontaneously left her home. She had been following the election since early morning on TV, completely engrossed by the results pouring in. She was tired, but she still wanted to share her joy. Accompanied by her clan, she walked through the gate to her home. She beamed through her dignified, wrinkly face and, despite knee problems, began doing a small dance of delight for the international cameras. She then took a short break before talking to journalists and answering their questions.

As dozens of villagers who had made their way to Obama’s grandmother’s house erupted into a chorus of jubilation, an ox was slaughtered on the property next door. Earlier in the morning, the ox, hitched to a tree, had looked on, bemused, as the media frenzy escalated.

“I am very, very pleased,” Sarah Obama said, “for me, for us, for the whole world.” No she said, she hadn’t yet had the chance to speak to Barack Obama. And no, she doesn’t know when he will come for a visit. And, she said, she will continue to live her life exactly as she has up until now. “We’re doing well — why would we want to change our lives?” she asked…

The district administration also understood that it was their task to pay tribute to the famous son. On Wednesday morning, workers began using large equipment to prepare the street in front of Obama’s grandmother’s house. And as journalists waited for the press conference to begin, workers from the state electricity company began drilling deep holes in the wet ground so that they could lay long-promised electricity cables.

After all, should the US President-elect ever decide to return to his roots, they certainly don’t want to leave the impression that the village where his family lives is an undeveloped one.

What is conspicuously absent in all of these stories is that Mrs. Sarah Hussein Obama (assuming she was ever married) is not Barack Obama Jr’s paternal grandmother. 

This misinformation has been perpetuated for quite some time. For instance in this CNN report from last April:

However, according to most sources, such as About.com, Sarah Hussein was Barack Obama Sr’s third “wife” and not the mother of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.:

Ancestry of Barack Obama – Family Tree And Genealogy Of Senator Obama

By Kimberly Powell, About.com

5. Akumu

Hussein Onyango OBAMA had several wives. His first wife was Helima, with whom he had no children. Second, he married Akuma and they had the following children:

    i. Sarah OBAMA
    1. ii. Barack Hussein OBAMA, Sr.
    iii. Auma OBAMA

Onyango’s third wife was Sarah, the one often referred to by Barack as his “grandmother.”

She was the primary caregiver for Barack OBAMA Sr. after his mother, Akuma, left the family when her children were still young.

So “Akuma” (the only name ever given) is Barack Obama Jr’s actual paternal grandmother.

(Note that we are told that Obama’s paternal grandfather, like his son, had “several wives.” Apparently that number is not known.)

They don’t even list her full name. We don’t even know her whereabouts.

Her entry at Wikipedia fleshes out her name, but leaves the rest of her life a blank:

Habiba Akuma Obama

Barack Obama’s paternal grandmother, and the second wife of Hussein Onyango Obama.

Indeed, we aren’t even told why Akuma left her “husband” and three young children — if she did.

Similarly, neither of the names Habiba or Akuma appear in either of Mr. Obama’s two autobiographies.

Is she still living or not? Whatever happened to her?

But let’s not let such questions dampen our celebration. Who cares that we know next to nothing about our next President?

Still, one has to wonder.

In the history of the world has there ever been a case of giving so much power to someone about whom so little is known?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 6th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

26 Responses to “Where Is Obama’s Paternal Grandmother?”

  1. proreason says:

    “In the history of the world has there ever been a case of giving so much power to someone about whom so little is known?”

    Every word that comes out of Obamy’s mouth is a lie. Everything about him that doesn’t come out of his mouth is a myth.

    He has been groomed for the role (i.e., Socialist takeover of the United States) for 20 years. He was probably picked as an undergraduate at Columbia. The facts of his life were messy details that had to be denied, ignored, or changed. The novel / self-indulgent autobiography is part of the ruse. Since parts were clearly invented for dramatic effect, therefore anything in the silly mess can be denied or laughed off.

    It was a shell game for rubes.

    It worked as designed.

  2. wardmama4 says:

    The msm couldn’t touch this issue at all – wouldn’t want a fatwa nor muslims protesting with ‘Behead Those who Insult Islam’ signs during the campaign. Never forget, if the masses had been reminded about the terrorist who want all Americans dead – why McAmnesty would win. Can’t have that ever.

  3. imnewatthis says:

    His ancestral village expects him (i.e., us) to solve their HIV problem. Let the men keep their pants zipped or stop being promiscuous. Or at the very least, use a condom.

  4. texaspsue says:

    Whoa, was that my imagination or was that a photo of Barack Obama Sr., in the video, with Frank Davis?

  5. Professor_Repulso says:

    “To be a legitimate and legal candidate for the presidency a candidate must be at least 35 years old and a citizen of the United States of America. Mr. Obama has left a convincingly long paper trail in his life; he’s old enough to be president.
    “After the stir made by Obama supporters who questioned John McCain’s citizenship you’d think Barack would just whip out his original birth certificate and flash us a big smile, but he stubbornly refused to produce his original birth certificate or give us a convincing reason why he couldn’t. The Obama campaign fed a facsimile copy made on a laser printer to the Daily Kos, a leftwing blog site, for publication.
    “The document refers to itself as a copy in small print along the bottom edge. The word LASER is printed in the lower left corner. It’s a copy. When Barack was born in 1961 all birth certificates were completed on typewriters. The first working laser lit up on May 16, 1960; the first public use of any laser was the supermarket barcode scanner that became available in 1974.
    “Computer enhancement of a bleed-through imprint in the lower center reveals that this copy dates from 2007 – it’s spanking new. Where’s the original? Did the dog eat it? How about a supporting affidavit from the state of Hawaii?
    “There have been assertions that the security border pattern of Barack’s ‘Certificate of Live Birth’ does not match that of any Hawaiian birth certificate of any era; the race of Barack’s father is given as ‘African,’ though African isn’t a race. Well past 1961, public records identified black people as Negroes, which was both scientifically correct and the preferred polite designation of its time.
    “So there’s a popular suspicion that the Daily Kos copy of Barack’s birth certificate is bogus. Those people who harbor such suspicions aren’t nuts, they are just concerned. After two years of campaigning, Barack Obama is in the curious position of being both famous and unknown. Lots of people think they know Barack Obama because his public persona has been a daily presence in their lives for two years, but, in truth, he remains a cipher. His two memoirs can give us little comfort becauise computer analysis indicate that these two books were not written by the same person. When both texts were subjected to a data-driven ‘cusum analysis,’ the more pedestrian Audacity of Hope averaged more than 29 words per line and a ninth-grade reading level. The much earlier Dreams from My Father, supposedly written by a less experienced writer, is a more slickly written book with an average sentence length of 23.36 words and a twelfth-grade reading level. The two books appear to be the works of two different intellects.
    “The New York Times had been thrilled to discover in Barack Obama ‘that rare politician who can write… and write movingly and genuinely about himself.’ Barack exploited the high stylishness of Dreams to establish his aura as a person of great intellect and insight and sensitivity. So it would be a blow to his carefully crafted political persona if it were revealed that Barack did not write Dreams from My Father, but merely fed lots of raw biographical material to a close collaborator who had already demonstrated a gift for writing tightly-wound, introspective, left-leaning political odyssey books. And who might that experienced ghostwriter be?
    “Well, it just might be, and very likely is, Barack’s decades-long collaborator William Ayers, the former wing commander of the bomb-happy Weather Underground. Barack was working closely with Ayers when Dreams was written and a literary analysis of both Dreams and Bill Ayers’ Fugitive Days demonstrates an eerie echo-chamber resemblance between the two texts.
    “For example, using Flesch Reading Ease Score numbers to compare the two texts, Dreams scored a 54.8 on reading ease at a 12th-grade reading level. The Ayers book came in at 54 on reading ease at the same 12th-grade level. Flesch scores go from zero to 121, so the nearly identical scores are telling. Ayers’ book averages 23.13 words per sentence; Dreams averages 23.36 words per sentence. A selected ‘control’ biography averaged 15 words per sentence.
    “The two texts share dozens of adjectives and literary flourishes, many of which allude to ships, turbulent waters and stormy skies. Ayers’ experiences as a merchant seaman colored all his later writing, which is very stylish. Barack Obama, by contrast, has produced nothing of note, absent Audacity and Dreams; his only known literary efforts were two little poems, which Barack himself has damned as ‘very bad poetry.’
    “Here’s the real Barack:
    Under water grottos, caverns
    Filled with apes
    That eat figs.
    Stepping on the figs
    That the apes
    Eat, they crunch.

    “After winning a popularity contest to become president of the Harvard Law Review, Obama contributed nothing whatsoever to the Harvard Law Review or any other law review – ever. So Obama would have us believe that he wrote two trashy poems, then nothing for over ten years, then a dazzling memoir, then a plodding 9th-grade level political tract and then nothing more. That’s beyond suspicious. I’m a writer. Writers write; they can’t stop themselves from writing. They write with a consistent voice; they speak to the blank paper in front of them. Both Fugitive Days and Dreams from My Father sound like the speaking William Ayers. The only time Barack Obama has sounded like Dreams was on his audio-taped readings from the text.”

    This is a moderate sized article, but is absolutely fantastic. Please have a look to see the complete piece: http://www.weirdrepublic.com/episode92.htm

  6. JohnMG says:

    Impressive sleuthing, Comrade Professor! I was unaware that such analytical processes exist. But we know from experience that whenever Obama has to “wing it”, he falls through his ass.

    If the fate of the Republic didn’t hang in the balance, the next four years would make for grand theatre.

  7. DEZ says:

    “If the fate of the Republic didn’t hang in the balance, the next four years would make for grand theatre.”

    If I have to watch the end of the Earth, I want a front row seat!

  8. proreason says:


    great article. I know there are ways to compare writing styles because you periodically see something to try to prove which of Shakespeare’s plays are written by the same hand.

    It would be interesting to see more about this. The data cited seems compelling, but how would a lay person know?

    SG, you are great at that kind of research.

  9. Professor_Repulso says:

    HAL 9000, JohnMG. And DEZ, you crazy man, these geezers probably can’t appreciate this but possibly you might. This might be more applicable to Rahm Emanuel than BHO, but….

    I am, I am, I am
    I said I wanna get next to you
    I said I gonna get close to you
    You wouldn’t want me have to hurt you too, hurt you too?

    I ain’t, I ain’t, I ain’t
    A buyin’ into your apathy
    I’m gonna learn ya my philosophy
    You wanna know about atrocity, atrocity?

    From Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots

    It is sometimes amazing what runs through a persons’ mind when under extreme duress.

  10. JohnMG says:

    That’s something my kids listen to, along with GodSmack, etc. It hurts my ears something awful, for the most part. If that’s what runs through your mind, Prof, it must really be messy in there. ;-}

  11. DEZ says:

    Stone Temple Pilots?

    Highway to hell is more my idea of rock and roll prof.
    I have ingored music for more than 20 years, Country music is usually to simplistic in nature to entertain me, bluegrass annoys me to the point of blind rage, rap? I will not even go there.
    Most rock and roll is to often written and performed by people in a drug induced stupor, but occasionally I enjoy it.
    Hip hop is aimed at 12 year olds and is not on my to listen to list.
    I can stand instrumentals, but very few of those.
    Basil Poledouris is really good, I can watch Conan the Barbarian just for the music.
    Maybe I am a fossil.;-)

  12. DW says:

    Basil Poledouris also did the music for Lonesome Dove.

    Try Dimitri Tiompkin’s 1960 soundtrack for The Alamo. Also James Horner’s Glory soundtrack. Great stuff.

    And, of course, anyone who doesn’t like Frank Sinatra is a communist :-D

  13. DEZ says:

    “And, of course, anyone who doesn’t like Frank Sinatra is a communist :-D”

    How do I look in red comrade DW.
    Hmmm never watched the Dove flicks, saw one in the 5 buck bin at Wal-Mart, may have to grab it.

  14. sheehanjihad says:

    And, of course, anyone who doesn’t like Frank Sinatra is a communist :-D”

    comrades in the night….exchanging secrets.
    comrades in the night…like preening egrets
    who’d have thought they’d win, before the night was throooooooooooogh…

    something in their eyes, was so deceiving
    something in their hearts, I’m not believing
    they would be in charge, oh man we all are screwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwed

    comrades in the night, those stupid masses
    comrades in the night, those stump dumb asses
    they have voted for a jerk, so they wont have to work…….
    they want to do just as they please, with both hands full of gubmint cheese…..

    if you watched that night, you’d better worry
    socialism’s blight, they’re in no hurry
    none of this is right…
    for comrades in the night…

    dooby dooby doo, doo doo da dee da we are freaking screwed, doo doo be dee da

  15. DW says:

    I was referring to the original Lonesome Dove. It’s not as good as the book (very few movie adaptations are) but on it’s own merits it’s a pretty good western. All six hours worth.
    (Wow – we managed to simultaneously hijack two different threads with discussions about westerns…Steve’s probably fingering his own taterstick (the one marked “Banned”) right now… :-)

    SJ -LOL.

  16. sheehanjihad says:

    And, of course, anyone who doesn’t like Frank Sinatra is a communist :-D” Hey, you started it!

  17. JohnMG says:

    McMurtry’s book is an excellent read, especially if you know the history involved and the country he described. The movie was remarkably true to the book, I might add, and the casting was brilliant.

    Or so I think. ;-}

  18. Professor_Repulso says:

    And SJ joins the fracas! Where’s my flare pistol? This one’s for you – and wee wee on ’em if they can’t take a joke!!

  19. DEZ says:

    LMAO SJ!

  20. sheehanjihad says:

    ROFLMAO! Professor, you are so, so, not politically correct! Watch for the brownshirts anytime now!

  21. DEZ says:

    OMG prof.
    Oh, pas da KFC.

  22. Exeter says:

    Prof – hang your head in shame! (I’m still LMAO!)

  23. Lurkin_no_mo says:

    Love the Lonesome Dove series! Once a year I’ve got to spend a day watching all 4 of the movies in their historical sequesnce: Dead Man’s Walk, Lonsome Dove, Return to Lonesome Dove (not a McMurty book, but a kick off for a short lived TV series with Ricky Schroeder playing Newt), and Streets of Laredo with James Garner playing the role of Call. First one, IMHO, is the best.
    I read thatLarry McMurty also wrote the screenplay for Brokeback Mountain….GAG!
    I also love the the music from the films. I’ve got it in my will that at my funeral I want the Lonesome Dove theme and the Band of Brothers theme played at the funeral. I think those are two of the most beautiful, moving instrumental songs I’ve heard.

  24. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Hey Lurkin,

    Band of Brothers is the one that I pull out at least once a year and watch in its entirety. Excellent series, great theme also as you’ve noted.

  25. artboyusa says:

    “Band of Brothers” is great, except for the episode where they have Major Winters shooting that young German who’s all on his own and apparently unarmed. It makes a fine man look like a murderer and it never happened (at least its not in the book). Interesting too that so many of the Americans are played by British actors – I keep recognizing them in movies and on TV over here.

  26. Liberals Make Great Speedbumps says:

    Hi artboy,

    Yeah, I’m sure that some artistic license was taken in the series. I’ve never read it so I don’t doubt your word on it. It still makes me sit back and marvel at the generation my Dad belongs to, and somewhat embarrassed for my own.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »