Far from the hustle of the campaign trail, in a patchwork town on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, Italy's Vanity Fair says they've tracked down Barack Obama's brother. He shares a father with Barack though not a mother. Living in a hut measuring six-by-nine feet, the 26-year-old named George Hussein Onyango Obama, survives on less than a dollar a month.
Plastering the walls of his hut are football posters and one front page newspaper clipping of Barack. This detail topped my heartbroke-list this morning: he says he's embarrassed by the poverty in which he lives and shies away from any Obama connection:
I live like a recluse, no one knows I exist. . . If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed.
That makes my insides cry. To see a picture of George,
George says he's met the Obama we know so well, twice — once as a young boy, and once when Sen. Obama visited Nairobi in 2006. George said it was like meeting a stranger — indeed George gets one brief mention in Barack's autobiography, described as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head." George has had a rough go of it, but is working on setting things right — he's starting classes at a local technical college.
Reading this, I can't help but be amazed. When Obama said, "he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name," stories like this bring that wealth of diversity he was talking about into focus. The US might have a president who has a brother who lives in a hut in Africa. Wow. Are you fascinated by this too?