Royalty and statesmen

"This is the happiest moment of my life," said the US leader's honorary Britain-based stepmother Kezia as she set out for Washington, accompanied by one of her sons
Photo: PA
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Granny Sarah, the last surviving wife of Mr Obama's paternal grandfather, seen here holding a picture from one of the president elect's visits to Kenya, will also be in Washington for the ceremony
Photo: Getty Images

Maya, the sister who grew up with him in Hawaii and Indonesia, will also witness the proud family occasion
Photo: PA

From Kenya to Honolulu, Barack's family gathers for inauguration

16 JANUARY 2009
Resident across the globe, relatives of Barack Obama are travelling across three continents to see one of their own sworn in as the US' first African-American president.

In Britain, Mr Obama's honorary stepmother, Kezia Obama, was full of excitement as she set out from her modest home on a Bracknell housing estate headed for the grand ceremony in Washington.

She was Barack Snr's first wife and enjoys an affectionate relationship with the man who on January 20 will become the most powerful in the world. It's not the first time she's been included in a key moment in Mr Obama's life. In 2005 he also invited her to his inauguration as an Illinois senator, a day she remembers as "a simple family affair".

Speaking at Heathrow airport, Kezia said: "This is one of the happiest and proudest moments of my life."

Her sentiments are shared by the matriarch of the clan, Mr Obama's step-grandmother Sarah, who is heading a delegation of eight from Kogelo village in Kenya.

The guest with the greatest comprehension of his remarkable journey may be his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, who grew up with him in Hawaii and Indonesia.

A Honolulu-based history teacher, she campaigned for her "amazing big brother", and has spoken of her astonishment that the nickname his bossiness earned him in childhood - 'Mr President' - turned out to be so accurate.


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