Barack Obama

January 18, 2009

The Gushing Begins

Far be it from me to accuse anyone of cashing in on Barack Obama’s success, particularly as I have made a not inconsiderable amount of money by writing about the Obama family in Kenya since 2004, but is this really necessary? Email invitation from Vestergaard Frandsen, the Swiss manufacturer of "disease control textiles", to a […]

December 4, 2008

Dreams from the White House

Granny Sarah and a calendar featuring her grandson as she celebrates Obama’s victory over Clinton It’s been another good week for The Times’ coverage of Obama’s ascent to the White House. Just before election day we tracked down his aunt, who was living in a rundown Boston estate, prompting allegations that we were some sort […]

November 10, 2008

Election Night with the Obamas

Election night in Kogelo I was one of the few journalists to get an invite to spend election night with the Obama family in their Kogelo home. Put something together for one of the Sundays but it wasn’t used so I thought I’d stick it here… THE piercing shriek of a cheap mobile phone broke […]

November 7, 2008

What Now for Obama and Africa?

Three ways that Kenyans think they will benefit from an Obama presidency: 1. By spending the American budget on Kenyan infrastructure Peter Otieno, one of the hustlers who crams extra passengers into already crowded minibus taxis in the town of Siaya, beside the Obama family homestead, said the president-elect should remember his roots. “When he’s […]

November 4, 2008

Always Take a Goat to the Party

Me taking a goat to the party So how do you make friends with the Obama family and ensure access to all the key players in Kenya as their relative vies to become the most powerful man in the world? The answer, of course, is always, always take a goat to the party. I found […]

November 4, 2008

The Only McCain Supporter in Kenya

Basically, this guy gets it if Obama wins. He’s going to be the celebration feast.

November 3, 2008

Hack Attack

The press pack in Kogelo The press pack at Barack Obama’s ancestral home is growing steadily. Today there must have been a good 30 or so hacks assembled for the 11am press conference to hear Abongo Malik Obama (half brother to Barack Obama) say there would be no more press conferences. Fair enough, I suppose. […]

November 2, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

There have been a few changes recently in Kogelo, the rural homestead that the Kenyan branch of the Obama family calls home. Four years ago I made my way down a bumpy, rutted dirt track to find Granny Sarah’s little house. I was met by Said, one of her youngest sons (and a half-uncle to […]

October 27, 2008

The Pride of Kenya

Kisumu’s ramshackle little airport is being renovated. Locals joke that it is so the runway is big enough to take Air Force 1 when Barack Obama wins and makes his big homecoming, visiting his step-granny an hour or so up the road. (Although not everyone realised it was a joke.) For now though it seems […]

October 8, 2008

An Abomination

Jerome Corsi at the airport yesterday. AP Two things you don’t do in Kenya right now: Criticise Barack Obama when the country is in the midst of Obama mania; suggest Raila Odinga is an extreme socialist who rose to the position of prime minister on the back of violence conducted by radical muslims. Jerome Corsi, […]

August 29, 2008

Obama’s Kenyan Roots

Granny Sarah and a calendar featuring her grandson as she celebrates Obama’s victory over Clinton When Barack Obama burst on to the scene four years ago at the Democratic Convention in Boston he was defined as the American Dream made real. His speech focused on his African background and the goatherd father. It is a […]

November 18, 2007

Hillary’s Comeback

It would make a great film, but it makes an even better story: the wife of a former president, humiliated by his philandering and lies in office, is poised to succeed him, and in the process become the first female head of state in the world’s sole superpower. The resurrection of Hillary Clinton from embattled […]