Kenya’s newspaper of record, The Nation, reports that President Obama’s step-grandmother, Sarah Obama (shown in this 2010 photo with US Ambassador Michael Rannebager), was injured in an automobile accident last month. Obama, age 91, was an occupant of an automobile when the driver lost control and rolled the car. The elderly Obama survived with bruises and was released from hospital. Relatively minor accidents can be serious for persons of that age.
Mama Sarah, as she is called locally for her advocacy and care for children, is well known for a recording in which she states through a translator that President Obama was born in Hawaii.
MCRAE: Wh-whereabouts, whereabouts was he born? I, I thought he was
born in Kenya.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: No he was born in America, not in Mombasa.
MCRAE: OK. Do you know whereabouts he was born?
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: (Pause.) Huh?
MCRAE: Do you know where he was born? I thought he was born in Kenya. I was gonna go by and see where he was born.
VOICE (background): It was Hawaii.
VOICE OF MRS. OBAMA OR ANOTHER WOMAN (background):
BROTHER TOM (background): Hawaii, yeah?
VOICE OF MRS. OBAMA OR ANOTHER WOMAN (background): Yeah.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (background): Yes.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (to McRae): Sir, she says he was born in
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: Yeah, in 1960 this was Hawaii, where his
father, his father was also marrying there. This was Hawaii.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: Yeah.
MCRAE: Was, was, was Mrs. Obama, was sh–was she present? Was, was
Mrs. Obama, see I thought you said she was present. Was she, was, was she, was she able to see him being, being born in, in Hawaii?
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: (pause, silence) Hoh? (pause) Uh, yeah would
you please pronounce?
MCRAE: OK I’m sorry. I, I thought she said she was present when he was
born. I was—
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE (sounding exasperated): No, no! The, the
woman was not present. She was uh not, a what–you see, she was here in Kenya, and Obama was born in America. That is, that’s obvious.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: Because, because the grandmother was married here in Kenya, and Obama was born in America, oh yeah, so his son, the little Obama, was marrying, was marrying, in America, in United States.
MCRAE: Oh, OK, fine. I mean, I–I just, I misunderstood what she was
saying. I thought you said she was present when he was born.
TRANSLATOR OGOMBE: No, not present there. The present with me here was tonight. Not present so she can leave. No she was here in Kenya while he, uh, her son, the little Obama, was marrying in America. And, uh, he be present if it–
WOMAN’S VOICE (background): It was in Hawaii.
Transcript Copyright 2009 by Greg Doudna. Used by permission.