Kenyans should give up claims for Barack Obama: They should try Lupita!


Lupita’s  lip balmKenyans who attended the funeral service of President Obama’s aunt, Zaituni Onyango in the United States were hoping that the President would show up with his family. This hope continues to rumor around Nyanza with many people speculating that Obama will visit Kenya during his presidency. Given the African traditional culture, one would hope that, as a “Kenyan” American, Obama would follow the tradition of the tribe and migrate to Nyangoma Kogelo every Christmas for some fish roast with his kinsmen.

Any body who expects president Obama to follow his father’s roots and get involved in Nyanza development must first make a rational historical analysis. You see, Kenyans can claim Lupita Nyon’go. Her father planted seed on Kenyan soil. Even though he was in Mexico when this happened, the soil on which Lupita grew was authentically Kenyan. Then after planting the seed while in Mexico, he uprooted the young tree with its roots and planted it in Kenya. This young shoot grew up in Kenya and experienced Kenyan school system and culture. The interaction between her and the culture gives her a cultural contact, which Barack Obama does not have.

After Barack’s father planted the seed in American soil, he returned home alone. He did not uproot the young Barack to plant him into the Kenyan soil, thus giving him a cultural reference from which to spring into the world. That which his father planted ended up becoming rooted in Indonesia and latter the United States. It is true that genetically, Barack Obama bears the DNA of people from Nyanza. Kenyans can therefore claim, legitimately, that people from Nyanza have great genes. But that is all. They cannot hold claim to the tree, Barack Obama, given that IT fed from nutrition that is absolutely withdrawn from Siaya’s Kogelo and the Lake region.

Until Obama became a Senator, Kenyans, to a large extent, part from his sister and close family members did not care about him. He did not exist in the minds and therefore the hearts of Kenyans. In fact the many times he visited Kenya, his sister picked him from the airport, rode on the buses using Nairobi – Kisumu road, and no one cared. Only when he visited Kenya later as a Senator did Kenyans show some interest. I say some because Wilfred Mutua, former Government spokesperson now governor of Machakos County referred to Obama that time as, ‘Just a Junior Senator’. This was done to minimize his importance in the realm of Kenyan politics. In fact Obama was well received by Raila Ondinga and his activities were limited to Nyanza province. President Mwai Kibaki’s handlers saw Obama as just another Diaspora coming home to eat some ugali and omena with his Luo friends!

Now that he is the president, Kenyans want a piece of the pie. They want to harvest where they never planted, watered, or nurtured. To assume that US President, Barack Obama is not aware of this is blind folded ignorance! Barack Obama spent much of his adult life serving the poor people on Chicago’s south side. Those people who nurtured him have absolutely nothing to do with Kenya. In fact by Marrying Michele, he made a statement as to where his heart is. If Michele Obama was from Yarugunga, then Kenyans could legitimately expect a basket of burgers, hot dogs, and dunkin donuts to be delivered to the poor of kogelo every Christmas. Unfortunately, even she knows where her people are. They are not anywhere near Kisumu but near the neighborhood of former Cabrini Green Estates.

Teddy Njoroge Kamau (PhD)

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