Kenyans may have more reason to celebrate Obama’s victory after President Mwai Kibaki declared Thursday a public holiday in honour of Barack Obama who has family roots in Kenya.
This is not the first time the East African country is having a national holiday in Obama’s honour. Four years ago, November 6, 2008, was declared Obama Day in honor of Obama’s electoral victory in the United States presidential election in 2008.
Obama’s family stayed up all night in the western Kenyan village of Kogelo watching the election count, and they are now preparing for a big party.
The main celebrant is 91-year old Sara Onyango Obama, Obama’s step-grandmother who resides in Nyang’oma Kogelo village in western Kenya, some 400km north of the capital Nairobi.
“We the Kenyan people are immensely proud of your Kenyan roots,” President Mwai Kibaki said to the press.
In Kisumu city, and even in the capital – Nairobi, there is a carnival atmosphere and people have poured onto the streets singing Mr Obama’s praises and jubilating.
Obama is the son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya and has five Kenyan half-brothers and a half-sister.
Since 2004, when Obama was running for the Senate in Illinois, the Harvard-trained lawyer and civil rights activist has enjoyed rock star status in Kenya.
Kenyan political leaders are expected to put aside their differences and join massive celebrations planned in the country which considers Obama their chosen son.