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Barack Obama mourns sad family death with heartbreaking tribute

The former POTUS' grandmother Sarah Ogwel Onyanho was 99

barack and sarah
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca LewisReporterLos Angeles
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Former President Barack Obama has paid tribute to his "beloved" grandmother who has passed away at the age of 99.

Sarah Ogwel Onyanho, or known to many as "Mama Sarah" and to Barack as "Dani," was born and lived in Kenya.

She "raised eight children, tended to her goats and chickens, grew an assortment of crops, and took what the family didn’t use to sell at the local open-air market."

Sarah was the third wife of the former US leader's paternal grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, and Sarah raised Barack's father although he was not her biological child.

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Barack paid tribute to his "beloved" grandmother

Barack shared that it was her help and love that allowed his father to move to America for university.

"When I first traveled to Kenya to learn more about my heritage and father, who had passed away by then, it was Granny who served as a bridge to the past, and it was her stories that helped fill a void in my heart," he shared alongside a picture of Sarah with Barack as a young man.

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Barack ended his tribute writing: "We will miss her dearly, but celebrate with gratitude her long and remarkable life."

barack and sarah kenya

Barack with Sarah in 2018

Followers flocked to the comments to also share their love to Barack, with one fan sharing: "May her memory be a constant blessing to all!!"

Sarah passed away in a hospital while receiving treatment for an unknown ailment.

"The passing away of Mama Sarah is a big blow to our nation. We've lost a strong, virtuous woman. A matriarch who held together the Obama family and was an icon of family values," said Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta in a statement.

barack and michelle

Barack was President between 2009 and 2017 

President Obama's half sister Auma paid tribute to their grandmother on Twitter.

"Just lost the most important person in my life - my gran, Mama Sarah," Barack's half-sister Auma shared on social media.

"My heart is broken! But as I write, not able to stop the tears from pouring, I know I was blessed to have her for so long! My inspiration, my rock, my comfort zone, my safe space. Rest in peace Dani!"

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