Nyangoma Kogelo

The 44th president of the United States of America - Barack Obama is Nyang' oma Kogelo's most famous son. His father Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was born in Alego, Siaya District in Nyanza Province close to the shores of Lake Victoria. His grandmother, Sarah Anyango Obama lives in Nyang’oma Kogelo village, 30 miles west of Kisumu. The Kogelo village and the Obama family have undergone a complete metamorphosis, literally. The change was evident immediately after the man whose roots are in the village became the leader of the freeworld.

Talking to Mr. Barack Obama, according to his brother and family spokesperson, Mr Malik Abong'o was an ordinary affair before the election. No more. He was happy that we are fine. We congratulated him and wished him well in the new challenges that come with the presidency," said the first born son of the Obama family.

Although grandmother Sarah Onyango Obama did not speak to the media after the election, all she could say to visitors who had come to congratulate her was "Nyasaye duong" (God is great).

And despite the rainy day and the muddy paths, the once sleepy village hosted thousands of visitors on election day, driven by a curiosity to see the roots of the man whose name is on everyone's lips. The world spotlight is firmly on the hitherto sleepy village because President-elect Obama's late father, Mr Barack Obama Snr, was born here. According to Luo customs, a child belongs to the father, hence the strong bonds of kinship to the American president-elect in Western Kenya.

A second bull and several goats and sheep were slaughtered as celebrations entered the third night.

And one of Prime Minister Raila Odinga aides, Mr Samuel Aduol delivered five bulls from his boss with a congratulatory message that he (the PM) would be visiting soon.

Busloads of students and curious visitors from as far as Tanzania and Uganda drove to the village, with some bearing gifts for the family. American nationals in Kenya also thronged the home in what they described as an encounter with the roots of the man who now holds the world's destiny in his hands. Although the Obama family said on Thursday that they would not like to be treated differently, the signs point to the fact that they are no longer simple villagers.

"We can no longer account for who is who in the home -- people danced the night away and the day holiday gave many an opportunity to come to the home," said Mr Abong'o.

Before the elections, the road leading to the homestead was a bumpy path that was a driver's nightmare whenever it rained. Kenya Power and Lighting Company connected electricity immediately after the elections in complete contrast to when Mr Obama visited three years ago. Then, Mama Sarah lived in a semi-permanent house which has since been rebuilt and is sparkling from a fresh coat of paint.

The compound, which is surrounded with indigenous shrubs, has since been fenced and boasts a police post manned 24 hours a day by eight officers.

Siaya District Commissioner Boaz Cherutich says security has been beefed up to cope with the influx of visitors.

The main road passing through the village to Bondo town, which was until recently no more than a dusty and bumpy path, has undergone major repairs in what Mr Abong'o said was a sign of things to come.

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