Preparations for Barack Obama visit to Kogelo in top gear

Resource centre director says preparations for the Monday event almost complete.

Pupils of Senator Obama Primary school admire a painting of former US president Barack Obama in Kogelo on Friday, July 13, 2018. PHOTO |JUSTUS OCHIENG | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Mr Obama will on Monday July 16, preside over the official opening of the sport facility in Kogelo, Siaya County.

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Preparations for the welcoming of former US President Barrack Obama in Kogelo on Monday are in top gear.

At Sauti Kuu Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre that he will open when he lands in Kogelo, organisers were busy putting final touches ahead of the much-anticipated event.

Director of the resource centre Dan Oduor told the Nation on the phone that preparations for the Monday event were almost complete.

"At the moment works are in progress at the venue," he said.

Mr Obama will on Monday July 16, preside over the official opening of the sport facilities in Kogelo, Siaya County when he makes his first visit to the Country after retirement in 2016.

The facility will be the first in the region and world-class athletes are set to attend its launch.

OBAMA FOUNDATION

Sauti Kuu founder Dr Auma Obama says the centre includes an international standard size football pitch sponsored by German Ministry for Development Cooperation, a basketball court sponsored by the Giants of Africa Foundation, and volleyball and netball courts.

Other facilities include a library, Information Technology (IT) laboratory and vocational centre “sponsored by multiple Sauti Kuu supporters, who will be in attendance.” 

"The space will serve as a safe physical space for children, youth and their families to meet and interact regularly while participating in different sports and learning activities."

Ms Auma says Mr Obama’s attendance is significant and promotes his mission under the Obama Foundation.

She said: "Given that his own mission under the Obama Foundation is to inspire and empower people to change the world, his attendance at this event at our ancestral home, where our father was laid to rest, is of great significance to me."

"I am forever grateful for his support to help me realise my vision. This is just the start, we hope to be able to replicate our work in other parts of Kenya and Africa," she added.

COMMUNITY APPEAL

On Friday, community representatives, professionals, clergy and elders met in Kogelo in what their spokesperson Nicholas Rajula disclosed to brainstorm how they will welcome Mr Obama.

He went on: “We want to warm the village in an African way. This can only be done when there is a crowd. For that reason we would wish to make a passionate appeal for the organisers to kindly allow our beloved son to address the public briefly and not necessarily at the venue of the resource centre launch which we understand is too small to accommodate everybody.”

Mr Rajula, who in 2009 led a Kogelo community delegation to the US for Mr Obama’s first inauguration as president, said one of their requests to Mr Obama is to support the establishment of a university to be named after him in Kogelo.

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