On Monday, Former US President Barack Obama's step-grandmother Sarah Onyango Obama died at the age of 99 at a hospital in the western town of Kisumu.  Reportedly, she was unwell for a week, but did not have Covid-19. 

Barack Obama and Sarah obama

Sarah Obama was the third and youngest wife of Barack Obama's grandfather.  When Obama was elected as the first black US president, Sarah shot to national fame and her home in Kogelo became a tourist attraction for people. 

According to France24, she used her fame to promote education and philanthropy by setting up the Mama Sarah Obama Foundation to provide food and education to orphans. 

Former president Barack Obama in his memoir "Dreams from my Father", reffered to Sarah as "Granny" and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to his father's homeland and their intial awkwardness as they struggled to communicate which developed into a warm bond. 

Following her death, President of the Republic of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta tweeted, "The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We've lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values".

Kisumu Governor, Anyang Nyong'o while offering his condolence to the people of Kogelo village for losing a matriarch said, she will be remembered for her work to promote education to empower orphans. "She was a philanthropist who mobilised funds to pay school fees for the orphans," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)