Kenya

Obama's aunt, Mama Hawa, dies at 80

Obama's aunt, Mama Hawa, dies at 80

Mama Hawa Auma (sister to Barack Obama Snr) holds up the portraits of her brother and his son, former US President Barack Obama, at her rural home in Oyugis , Homa Bay County.

Photo credit: Benson Momanyi | Nation Media Group

Mama Hawa Obama, the sister to late Barack Obama Snr (former US President Barack Obama’s father) has passed on.

She died aged 80, her son Razick Amuna said while confirming her death.

According to him, she died shortly before 1am last night at his home.

Preparations for her burial are ongoing.

She will be buried Thursday at her home in Kokal village, Oyugis, on Thursday afternoon in line with Muslim rites.

Mama Hawa Obama

Mama Hawa Obama's relatives at her gravesite in Oyugis, Homa Bay County on November 25, 2021.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

According to her family, she had been ailing after suffering a stroke more than two years ago.

She had been admitted to Rachuonyo District Hospital for nine days after her condition deteriorated, and was discharged about five days ago.

Her death comes eight months after that of Mama Sarah Onyango Obama, the former US President's paternal grandmother.

While alive, Mama Hawa had appealed to her famous nephew to build her a house and empower her family financially.

However, Mama Sarah once told local media that Mama Hawa should seek Obama on her own if she wanted assistance.

“I know her and I am the one who brought her up. I urge her to work hard and get resources for her livelihood. She can consult her brother’s son to get the aid she requires,” she said in a past interview.

But her son lamented that his family got no support from the former US Head of State.

“She has really suffered. My mother could not reach her nephew, the former US  President, because she was illiterate. It's just painful that we are related but there has been no support to the family. She has suffered a lot,” said Razick,  a casual labourer.

“The name Obama is famous and it has caused us a lot of misery because people always imagine we have money and are doing well which is not the case,” he said.

Mama Hawa was married to the late Senior Chief Magak Odeka who died in 1993.