Dreams From My Father, A Story Of Race And Inheritance. Barack Obama. Book Review. Part Three, Kenya, Chapter Eighteen: Trip To Home Squared and Alego His Grandfather’s Farms. Transitions.

November 3, 2011 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 
BARACK’S FAMILY IN KENYA
Front row (left to right): Auma Obama (Barack’s half-sister)Keiza Obama(Barack’s stepmother), Sarah Hussein Onyango Obama( wife of Barack’s paternal grandfather), Zeitumi Oyango(Barack’s aunt)
Back row (left to right): Sayid Obama (Barack’s uncle), Barack Obama, Abongo(Roy) Obama (Barack’s half-brother), unidentified woman, Bernard Obama (Barack’s half-brother), Abo Obama (Barack’s half-brother(.
TRIP TO HOME SQUARED AND ALEGO
Barack takes the six hundred mile train trip to the family land on the shores of Lake Victoria. The original plot is still in the family although much reduced by gifts. His father’s brothers Yusef and Sayid still live there. They did not go to school like Barack Sr.; they live in rural poverty on subsistence farming.  However they do not see themselves as poor.

Barack’s grandfather had been a cook for the British Army and during the World War a captain before he returned to the farm.  His grandmother still lived on the property and greeted him with warmth as did of all his relatives there.  The grandfather is referred reverentially to as the “The Old Man” and was remembered as a skilled farmer as well as a cook as well as a stern no nonsense man. He also had other wives. Barack is shown a picture of Akumu with a daughter Sarah. She lived on another homestead called Alego. Grandfather Hussien  apparently was in Burma with the Army because  Akumu  looks Burmese.

Grandfather  Hussein  Onyango  Obama (1895- 1979) is buried with a marker on the property  and alongside his grave is Barack Sr.’s grave yet to have a marker.

Yusef and Sayed explain to Barack that the land is fertile but no one has the agricultural training or expertise to raise the yield above a subsistence level. Much of the land has been given away because the family has been unable to work it.

Roy and Barack journey to Alego to see their cousin Abo a descendant from their grandfather’s other family. His cousins Salina, Kizia and Billy are there also.  At night the men drink together and discuss the  weaknesses of the Obama clan in Africa. These turn out to be too much drink and more than one wife.

Later back at Home Squared,  Sayed opines that Barack Sr.’s problem was that he tried to live the life of an educated bureaucrat and also follow his ancestral ways and this caused him to fail as an economic planner in the new Kenya.  Barack senses that his father never fully made the transition from the rural farm to be the educated economic leader he stove to be. (It was probably too great a journey to achieve in one generation.)

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One Comment on Dreams From My Father, A Story Of Race And Inheritance. Barack Obama. Book Review. Part Three, Kenya, Chapter Eighteen: Trip To Home Squared and Alego His Grandfather’s Farms. Transitions.

  1. Philomena on Thu, 14th May 2015 12:00 am
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