NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Sarah Obama, the matriarch of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s Kenyan family has died, relatives and officials confirmed but did not disclose the cause of death. She was at least 99 years old.
Mama Sarah, as the step-grandmother of the former U.S. president was fondly called, was a philanthropist who promoted education for girls and orphans.
She passed away while being treated at a hospital in Kisumu, Kenya’s third-largest city in the country’s west.
Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o offered his condolences to the people of Kogelo village for losing a matriarch and said she will be remembered for her work to promote education to empower orphans.
The former president acknowledged his step-grandmother's death in a tweet Monday morning, saying he and his family are mourning the loss.
"We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life," he wrote in the tweet, which included a photo of the two together.
My family and I are mourning the loss of our beloved grandmother, Sarah Ogwel Onyango Obama, affectionately known to many as “Mama Sarah” but known to us as “Dani” or Granny. We will miss her dearly, but we’ll celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life. pic.twitter.com/avDY4f1PVu
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 29, 2021