"Being Obama’s Brother" - Obama's Kenyan Brother Tells His Story

george obama brother kenya
George Obama sits in front of his home in a slum in Nairobi, Kenya

In November 2008, I stood in a bar in Kenya watching Barack Obama give his victory speech. From the wild cheering of the crowd on TV, and his repeated appeals to them personally—"You said," "You heard," "You called"—I felt as if the people of America knew this man far better than I, even though we shared the same father. If there was a leading light in the Obama clan, he was it; and if there was a shadowed place that no one liked to talk about, then that, I guess, was me.

Kenya, Africa

After a relatively privileged childhood, I crashed and burned in my teenage years. I had migrated from the plush suburbs of Nairobi, Kenya, to the wild chaos of the ghetto. I lost myself in drink and drugs and became a gun-toting gangster. In my early 20s, I spent a year in a Nairobi prison on robbery charges. My imprisonment included a starvation diet and 24/7 lockdowns in overcrowded, airless cells. But I came out a different man, resolved to turn my life around and find a different path.

Along with some fellow slum dwellers, I set up a youth group for ghetto kids. My passion was football (soccer), which is followed religiously throughout Africa. When we first established the Huruma Centre Football Club, none of our kids had so much as a pair of football boots, let alone any uniform. Some were so hungry when they turned up that they had no energy to play. At other times, the team had to trek for miles to matches because we couldn't afford any transportation. In spite of all that, our players were passionate, and we started winning. Then, as my brother's profile grew in America and around the world, the media came looking for his African relatives.

Eventually the press found me in my slum. My new notoriety was a blessing and a curse. Many people presume I have a direct line to the White House, but I don't. I've only met my big brother twice and have spoken to him just once since the election, to say congratulations. Still, because of our connection, I managed to pull in funds from philanthropists to support the work of the youth group. I raised enough money to buy the team gold and green uniforms—with their own numbers on the back. Last fall, Obama's Champs won the Nairobi Super League—a feat that, just a couple of years back, would have been unthinkable for a team from the slums. With the sponsorship I've attracted because of my last name, we can now afford to take buses all across Kenya for matches.

A slum in Kenya

I still live in one of Africa's biggest slums, along with some 4.5 million others. We have little or no access to health care, no welfare, and no free schooling. The average income is less than $5 a day—and that's for those who find work as servants, taxi drivers, or garbage collectors. For the rest, there is nothing. My brother has risen to be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. In Kenya I hope to be a leader among the poorest, most powerless people on earth—the people of the ghetto.

Hope—it's an idea my brother talked about a lot. But it was only recently that I learned again what it means to feel the true spirit of that word. Here, a little goes a long way.

By George Obama | NEWSWEEK Published Jan 2, 2010 From the magazine issue dated Jan 11, 2010

Obama's memoir, Homeland, was co-written with Damien Lewis. © 2010 source: Newsweek.com

By @Corentin

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Comment by DeLeon Hughes on January 27, 2010 at 12:46pm
why isn't he lavished up somewhere in the U.S.? c'mon Obama, that's your brother!
Comment by GunitRIDERZ on January 24, 2010 at 8:59pm
dude said he been to kenya and cant even spell it
Comment by Jade on January 24, 2010 at 9:26am
Africa would do better without you all, foreign involvement is what is tearing Africa apart..Africa has about 45% of the world mineral resources, but America, Russia, France, UK and China are all here fighting for our resources, why cant you all hypocrites leave us alone? leave Somalian waters, bip ups to the pirates
Comment by Jade on January 24, 2010 at 9:05am
I read most of the posts in here, Africans commented quite well, but these African-Americans sound a lil stupid and immature
Comment by jBrizzle on January 16, 2010 at 10:20pm
To the entity below me. Your a complete doaf! If you dont understand then look it up!
preaching your fake profit like jargon on to others makes you look like a moron.
Your also brainwashed and get over yourself!
Comment by L.A.V.A.H ENT. on January 11, 2010 at 6:12am
i cant wait to see the look on n***** faces when they find out the truth about barry/obama,n***** always getting tricked,you earthlings look @ skin too much........most of you might not know Him,but Yahweh bout to f*** all yall up any second now......yall all on obamas nuts,50 nuts,jay-z nuts,bush nuts,bill gates nuts,mike tyson nuts,lil wayne,lebron,tony montana,steve jobs,michael jackson ect ect.....but the muthafucka who Created all those n***** & YOU , yall dont give a f*** about HIM!!...until He f*** you or somebody you "love" up.....then you wanna call Him Or address Him,but naw b**** u fairweather groupie a** c********* of a human being devil influenced phony it will be too late.....Message & Warning: If you dont know Yahweh b4 you die,you will transported to the Lake of Fire/eternal fire a.s.a.p.........F.Y.I there are absolutly no tough guys in hell......If you desire to know more about your Heavenly Father,get @ me soon,because there may not be later.
Comment by Kitwana on January 11, 2010 at 5:16am
i saw his brother talk on cnn last year, you missed bef4
Comment by Kenyan_Nordics on January 8, 2010 at 4:44am
The white boy below (Joe Smith) is just a troll; Ignore him. Look at his corny Rambo tight a** vest and sun glasses? Then he pretends to like hip hop. #FAIL!
Comment by Coop on January 7, 2010 at 9:04pm
damn is that a white boy sayin tough luck n****! WTF
Comment by Coop on January 7, 2010 at 9:03pm
Obama"s daddy was slangin d*** everywhere even in Korea! S*** his momma and Grandma raised him, In the words of Jeezy< I Don't Know you!

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