Mama Grace Keziah Aoko Obama, former US President Barack Obama’s step-mother, was on Saturday buried at her Kogelo home in Nyang’oma, Siaya County.
Senate minority leader James Orengo, Siaya Deputy Governor James Okumbe and Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo were among the politicians who attended the funeral.
The 78-year-old died in the United Kingdom on April 13, about two weeks after she had been hospitalised.
A diplomatic row between Kenya and the United Kingdom about two weeks ago resulted in travel restrictions by both nations, hence the delay in the arrival of Keziah’s body. The body arrived on Friday.
The ceremony in line with Islamic rites was short, with only a few people allowed to address the mourners. The family members did not read a tribute.
Malik Obama, Keziah’s eldest son, introduced all the family members.
He said the family received news of Keziah’s death from London on April 13, and that she died after a long battle with diabetes and old age.
“As Muslims, we do not pay tribute to our loved ones. All we say is it is Allah’s will that this happened,” he said.
Mr Orengo and Mr Amollo, however, eulogised the matriarch as a loving and caring woman.
He challenged Malik to ensure the family remains united despite the death of Mama Keziah and Mama Sarah Obama, almost a month apart.
“Malik, you are the eldest son in this home. Unite the whole family because that is what will make this great name, Obama, stronger,” said the Siaya senator.
Mr Amollo praised the Obama family for putting Kenya on the global map.
The body arrived at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Friday morning in a cargo plane and was then transported in a chartered flight to Kisumu International Airport.
Inside the plane was Bernard Sadik Obama while his elder brother Malik, his wife and their uncle Said Obama waited at the airport to receive the body.
Conspicuously missing at the airport and at the burial was Auma Obama, Keziah’s eldest and only daughter. Her relatives refused to reveal her whereabouts.
At the Kisumu airport, Mr Bob Madanje, Chief of protocol in the office of the Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, worked with Malik to ensure smooth operations. The body was placed in a coffin which was covered with a shawl and then placed inside a hearse, the same one that carried Sarah’s remains, ready from transportation to Kogelo.
A siren from a police Land Cruiser sounded all the way from the airport as a handful of armed officers provided security and helped clear the way.