Obama's Kenyan grandmother "overwhelmed" by media attention

Other News Materials 6 February 2008 16:59 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Sarah Obama, 85, is weathering a media onslaught in Kenya as her grandson Barack and Hillary Clinton slug it out for the Democratic party nomination in the US presidential race, reports said Wednesday.

Barack Obama's half-uncle Said Obama told the East African Standard that Obama's grandmother, who lives in the village of Kogelo in western Kenya, had been "overwhelmed" by film crews who turned up without giving any notice, demanding interviews.

Obama's father, the late Barack Obama Senior, was from the village.

To control the journalists visiting the home, the family would from now allow interviews strictly on appointment, he said.

"We are overwhelmed with the numbers of foreign media houses that jam our homestead daily. We kindly request them to inform us of their coming in advance," Said told the newspaper.

The media set up equipment in the homestead for live broadcasts across the world ahead of the Super Tuesday primary when Obama faced his opponents in the gigantic showdown in 24 states, the Standard reported.

The senator's grandmother told the newspaper she had been interviewed, filmed and photographed by hundreds of local and foreign journalists in the past two years.

She was reportedly delighted at the attention that her grandson's campaign was attracting, but not as pleased by the phenomenon of locals claiming kinship with the Obamas in an attempt to gain media interest and financial benefits.

Said told the East African Standard that on the day of the Iowa primaries, journalists struggling to interview Sarah engaged in heated exchanges.

"Ten foreign media houses ambushed the homestead without an appointment and wanted quick, but detailed interviews with Mama Sarah," the East African Standard quoted him as saying.