Kenyan kin suffer Obamas quest for the White House

September 12th, 2008 - 3:10 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Nairobi, Sept.12 (ANI): Kenyan police have increased security for Barack Obama’’s African relatives after thieves tried to break into the village home of his step-grandmother.
Sarah Hussein Onyango, 86, said that she woke to find her front door had been kicked down and someone had tampered with her solar panel, installed so that she can watch the US presidential race on television.
Following the incident, officers said they may install a small police post in the village of Kogelo, in remote western Kenya, where Mr Obama’’s father grew up herding goats.
According to The Times, the attempted burglary is only the latest effort by Kenyans to cash in on rising star Barack Obama.
The family’’s relative wealth is a tempting target in a country riddled with poverty and crime.
Ever since Obama ran for the US Senate four years ago local politicians, keen to associate themselves with an African success story, have been frequent visitors to the family compound where goats still graze among the mango trees. Villagers have been known to turn up at the family home to inquire about applying for American visas.
Kenya’’s entrepreneurial class has found plenty of other ways to make money. Stalls in the city of Kisumu, on the shores of Lake Victoria about an hour from the Obama home, are doing a brisk trade in commemorative T-shirts, calendars and posters.
One tour operator in Nairobi is even running an Obama safari offering visitors the chance to spend a day in Kogelo before continuing their trip into the Masai Mara game reserve.
At 2,400 dollars for seven days, it is not cheap.
The different money making schemes have irritated Obama’’s extended family of cousins, half siblings, uncles and aunts.
Hussein Obama, a half-uncle of the senator, said that the family was increasingly concerned about the trade.
We are worried people may see our name connected with things that have nothing to do with us, and maybe these people are involved in criminal activities. We just don”t have any control of how our name is being used, he was quoted, as saying. (ANI)

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