Barack Obama`s grandmother to cook for President on Kenya trip
President Barack Obama`s Kenyan grandmother, known as Mama Sarah, vowed on Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.
Nairobi: President Barack Obama`s Kenyan grandmother, known as Mama Sarah, vowed on Friday to cook a traditional meal for her grandson when he visits the East African nation, the birthplace of his father, later this month.
"With regards to what food I will prepare for Barack on his visit, I will prepare all the traditional food available," she said, speaking her Luo language through a translator on a visit to Nairobi.
She tempted him with the offer of dishes including fish, chicken and maize porridge.
"It does not matter whether Barack is a senator or a president," she added. "He will have what I have prepared for him."
Mama Sarah was the third wife of US president`s paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, and lives in the small village of Kogelo in western Kenya which is home to a number of the president`s relatives.
She said she had asked him to travel to Kogelo "to pay respect to his father`s grave", but it was not clear if Obama was scheduled to travel outside the capital Nairobi.
Obama`s late father was born in Kogelo and grew up there before travelling abroad to study, where he met Obama`s American mother in Hawaii.
Although Mama Sarah is not a blood relative, Obama calls her "granny" and has visited her in the past.
It will be Obama`s fourth visit to Africa since becoming US president, but his first to Kenya since taking office in 2009.
A presidential visit to Kenya had been put on ice while President Uhuru Kenyatta faced charges of crimes against humanity for his role in 2007-2008 post-election violence.
The International Criminal Court has since suspended that prosecution, citing a lack of evidence and Kenya`s failure to cooperate.
After Kenya, Obama then travels on to neighbouring Ethiopia, where he will become the first sitting American leader to visit. Ethiopia`s capital Addis Ababa also hosts the headquarters of the African Union, the 54-nation continental bloc.
Africa`s second most populous nation held a vote in May that was described by many independent observers as flawed.
Ethiopia and Kenya have both been on the frontline of the fight against Somalia`s Al-Qaeda-allied militia Shebab, and have been important security partners to Washington.