Obama launches Kenya youth centre, dances with his step-grandmother
July 16 2018 01:38 PM
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta meets former U.S. President Barack Obama at State House Nairobi
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta meets former U.S. President Barack Obama at State House Nairobi

dpa/Johannesburg

Barack Obama visited his father's ancestral village in Kenya's south-western Siaya county on Monday and danced to some traditional music with his step-grandmother in his first trip to the country since leaving office.

Kenyan television showed the former US leader pulling the elderly Sarah Obama, clad in traditional garb, onto the dance floor and getting down to some music.
Obama then launched a new youth centre set up by his half sister Auma Obama, who studied in Germany.
"It's good to be back with so many people who are family to me – and so many people who claim to be family to me, everybody's a cousin," Obama joked during his speech inaugurating the centre.
He reminisced about meeting his half-sister on his first visit to Kenya when he was 27.
"I could not be prouder of what my sister's accomplished," he said. "Today I'm really coming as a brother ... as someone with a connection to Africa, to talk about the importance of what she's doing."
Obama, America's first black president and a favourite in Africa, was seen touring the Sauti Kuu Centre in a casual white shirt and a pair of shades.
"I had a chance to look around and it is a remarkable space," Obama said. "I'm very happy to see that there's also a basketball court."
"The centre's going to be a place where children and young people learn the strength of their own voices," he added.
Locals hoping to get a glimpse of Obama lined the roads near the centre, with one school girl telling Kenya's NTV "I'm happy to see our elder brother come today."
After Obama arrived in the country Sunday he met with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who tweeted "It was great to welcome you back @BarackObama."
Obama will head to South Africa on Tuesday to give a key speech for Nelson Mandela's centenary - his first major public address since leaving office.



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