Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama's east African roots

We all know about President Barack Obama's father being Kenyan, but now claims are being made that Obama's grandfather was a Ugandan.

In an article published in the Kampala newspaper, the Daily Monitor, and written by Angelo Izama, a group claims that Obama's Luo tribal connections extend to regions of Kenya that were once part of Uganda in the 1920s when it was a British protectorate.

According to the Monitor, the information came in a statement signed by Nelson Umah Tete about a book titled “The Luo” by George William Alenyo.

The organisation, Luo Community [Ugandan Chapter], is however an unregistered entity whose real membership remains unknown, the Monitor said.

“By 1926 when Obama’s grandfather Onyango Obama was born in Nyanza province [it] was still part of the Uganda protectorate whose boundary extended up to the Rift Valley in Nakuru” the statement said, adding that the boundaries were not altered until 1926.

As we all know, Obama’s African roots have been a source of excitement in the region, and a beer has been named after him in Kenya. Children born on the day he won the presidency have been named after him.

DVD’s with his speeches are selling like blockbusters and his acceptance speech has been turned into a cellular phone ringtone, the Monitor reports.

While ‘Obamania’ has shown no signs of ebbing, it holds a special significance to ethnic Luo group.

It must be noted that the Luo tribe in western Kenya is closely related to the Acholi tribe in northern Uganda, of which Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord's Resistance Army is a member.

The Acholi as well as the Luo, as they're known, both speak the Luo language, which in northern Uganda is also simply called Acholi.

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