Obama dines with Kenyan family


US President Barack Obama’s gathered with members of his extended family in Nairobi Friday, kicking off a two day visit to his father’s native Kenya.

Obama’s familial connections to the East African nation were on display as soon as Air force One touched down in Nairobi, with the president’s sister Auma Obama among those assembled to greet him.

The pair shared a warm embrace, before heading to a hotel where America’s first black president met more members of his extended family for dinner.

US President Barack Obama attends a gathering of family at his hotel in Nairobi at his hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, July 24, 2015.  US President Barack Obama arrived in the Kenyan capital Nairobi late Friday, making his first visit to the country of his father's birth since his election as president. Obama was greeted by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with a handshake and embrace as he stepped off Air Force One, at the start of a weekend visit during which he will address an entrepreneurship summit and hold talks on trade and investment, counter-terrorism, democracy and human rights.  AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

Among those gathered were his step-grandmother, Mama Sarah, whom he calls “Granny”.

Obama is linked to his Kenyan family via his father Barack senior, a pipe-smoking economist who Obama has admitted he “never truly” knew.

He walked out when Obama was just two and died in a car crash in Nairobi in 1982, aged 46.

Obama senior had worked in the government of Jomo Kenyatta, who led Kenya at independence from Britain until his death 14 years later in 1978.

The two men did not get on well, with Kenyatta — the father of Kenya’s current president Uhuru Kenyatta — sacking Obama senior, and blackballing him for further government jobs, an ostracisation that would help fuel alcoholism.

Obama is not expected to visit the small town in Western Kenya where his father was born and is buried.

This is Obama’s first trip to Kenya since becoming president.

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