Obama inspires half-brother to run for office in Kenya
January 15th, 2013
11:53 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama inspires half-brother to run for office in Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) – "Have thick skin, be honest, and sincere."

That's the campaign advice Malik Obama says he received from his half-brother President Barack Obama late last year. Malik Obama is running for governor of Siaya County in Kenya where his and President Obama's father Barack Obama Sr. was born.

Malik Obama told CNN he discussed his campaign with the American president on November 16 during a visit to the United States. The two men have remained close since they first met in the 1980s, and each served as the other's best man at their weddings.

Malik isn't sure whether the Obama name is an advantage to him - though many Kenyans love Barack Obama - but Malik hopes that being an Obama will give him an edge over his political rivals.

He's also harnessing some of the rhetoric employed by President Obama during his election campaigns. Malik Obama told CNN he wants to bring change in Siaya just like his brother brought change in the United States.

"My agenda is 1) poverty eradication, 2) infrastructure development, and 3) industrialization," he said.

Malik Obama says he has travelled widely, and feels that it's his duty and obligation to bring the development he has seen in other parts of the world to his constituency.

Siaya County, with a population of just over 800,000, edges Lake Victoria in the western part of Kenya.

CNN's Lilian Leposo in Nairobi and Kevin Liptak in Washington contributed to this report.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    What an inspirational story, that is what we are suppose to do inspire others to do better and/or help bring out the best in others. Good luck Mr. Obama!

    January 15, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. chilly g

    great story, i hope he win and later become president of kenya and stop some of the corruction in that country
    other wise it no hope.

    January 15, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. FedupinChicago

    Really? Honest and sincere? Maybe obama should take some of his advice and stop with his lies!

    January 15, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. James Bond

    Michiganers, remember the election ads from repubs, the older couple at the dining table , filing out ballots, amend the constitution, amend the constitution, HANDS OFF OUR CONSTITUTION!!! then one month later, the republicans passed right to work, and tied it to an appropriations bill, so iits all but impossible to overturn, never even a democrat in the house, this lame duck republican house passed over 90.bills in two weeks, not one bill was debated, or even mentioned to the democrats. not the kind of political party i can vote for, our founding fathers put into place checkpoints, and policies to prevent this, but of course that has been dismantled

    January 15, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  5. James Bond

    Run rabbit run

    January 15, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  6. Lionel

    Great story. Everyone needs to inspire someone in their lives and stop all this hatred.

    Choose love over hate, choose hope over fear my fellow citizens.

    January 15, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  7. Wake up People!

    @James Bond. Agreed.

    January 15, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. GuestAgain

    Honest? Liberal standards are certainly lower than ever....

    January 15, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine


    Honest? Liberal standards are certainly lower than ever....
    Conservatives have no standards. Funny, I seem to remember a lot of complaining from Messers Gingrich, Perry, Santorum, et al, about one Mitt Romney and his outright lies and distortions. Of course, they are merely upset their gold standard for fabricating reality had been surpassed by the one-term aristocratic wonder from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    January 15, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. James Bond

    Honesty and politics do not mix well. nuevo rich force republicans to tow the line,trying to lower the standard of living for the middle class, spend a dollar to save a dime in taxes, very incompassionate toward less fortunate, and the things they do for a buck, all the while looking down their noses at you, and honestly thnking they are better than you, the things they have done to people for financial gain is appauling, so why do they think they are better than you? dollar signs people, thats why.

    January 15, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |