President Barack Obama’s half-brother plans to follow his bro’s footsteps into politics — but the Kenyan sibling of the free world’s leader is starting small.
Obama’s half-brother is a few years older than his far more famous relative (Malik Obama was born in 1958, while Barack was born in 1961), and the pair did not meet until 1985 when they were in their twenties. And while Barack was raised mostly in the US, Obama’s half-brother spent most of his life in Nairobi, Kenya where he earned a degree in accounting.
Obama’s half-brother hasn’t been a massive presence in the President’s public sphere, but the two are apparently close and even served at one another’s weddings as the best man. Malik also was called into action during his little brother’s campaign in 2012, representing the extended Obama family in Kenya as international attention was frequently drawn upon them.
Now Obama’s half-brother has announced an intent to enter politics himself, having moved to the country from the city in the past and running an electronics store prior to his newly-announced candidacy. According to Malik, who plans to run for governor in Siaya county, he seeks election and hopes to affect change like his famed sibling as 2013 continues:
“Siaya county is facing a lot of problems from poor infrastructure to poverty due to bad leadership … I will change this if elected.”
But while Barack had to deal with a campaign marred by ugly rhetoric, Obama’s half-brother may see a far larger set of issues in his own candidacy. The Huffington Post quotes Abbas Gullet, the head of the Kenya Red Cross, who admitted that violence in relation to voting can be intense in the African country.
Hundreds died in 2007 voting, and Gullet explains that some clashes have already broken out:
“It’s about governorship, it’s about senator-ship, it’s about members of parliament, and women representative, and boundaries of communities that have co-existed for centuries.”
Obama’s half-brother announced his intent to run in Siaya this weekend.