Kezia Obama, the stepmother to former US President Barack Obama has died after a long illness.
The reports of her demise were confirmed by one of her grandchildren based in Dubai. Kezia Obama was the first wife of Barack Hussein Obama Senior and mother to Rita Auma Obama and Malik Obama.
The 81-year-old was granted British citizenship in 2011 and had been residing in Berkshire, England. Kezia, on numerous occasions, has spoken in the adulation of the achievements of Barack Obama Jnr.
For instance, she defended Obama who received backlash from critics after winning the Nobel Peace Prize within a year of entering the White House.
Former US President Barack Obama greets members of his British and African-based family at the White House following his inauguration, including half-brother Abongo, far left, and stepmother Kezia.
“Yes, Barack still has much more to do, but he’s doing his best to set the ball rolling. He’s setting his stall out and attempting things that others haven’t dared to try. It seems unfair to criticise him. He hasn’t awarded the prize to himself,” she previously stated.
The news comes as the Obama family recently mourned the demise of Mama Sarah Obama after succumbing to a long illness at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.
“She was diagnosed with stroke in September last year and had blood sugar-related problems,” Mama Sarah Obama’s daughter Marsat Obama stated.
Politicians and dignitaries sent their condolences to the family and acknowledged the 99-year-old to be an icon especially for her philanthropic work at her Kogelo home.
Barack, in a statement, went down memory lane as he hailed his grandmother for defying the odds and setting the premise of the Obama family’s legacy.
“When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and father, who had passed away by then, it was Granny who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart.
“We will miss her dearly, but celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life,” Obama stated.
A file image of Barack Obama with his grandmother, Mama Sarah Obama, in K’Ogelo village