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Kenya to launch Obama family treePublish Date: Jan 25, 2009
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By Reuben Olita
in Kogelo, Western Kenya

THE Kenyan government has launched a study to document the lineage of US President Barack Obama.

The government last Tuesday said the decision to trace Obama’s cultural roots was in honour of the former Illinois senator, whose father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr, hailed from Kogelo village in Nyanza Province.

Kenya National Archives director John M’Reria told excited villagers in Kogelo that the study will trace Obama’s roots from the first Luo during the community’s migration from Sudan.

“We are looking for the basics of Obama’s culture down the River Nile from Sudan by gathering information from the Luo community in Kogelo and South Nyanza, official records and from history books, especially on the Luo migration,” he said.

M’Reria said his department would come up with the draft on Obama’s family tree, which would be adopted by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

In a related development, the Kenyan government said the Obama cultural week that run from January 16-20 will be celebrated annually at Kogelo.

Silvers Anami, the national culture director, also said the Obama Cultural Centre will be a modern facility that will showcase the country’s tourist destinations.
Obama has visited Kogelo thrice. His first visit was in 1983, a year after his father died in a road accident.

He returned to Kogelo in 1995, accompanied by his wife, Michelle.
Obama’s last visited the village in 2006 as Illinois senator.

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