Une fille décidée à devenir Mme Obama
Source: Saturday Nation
By STELLA CHERONO firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted Friday, October 15 2010 at 22:00
Mary Aoko Ouma is planning to go to Ng’iya shopping centre where she roasts and sells maize, but visitors keep flocking to her home.
She attracts attention in the village because her daughter, 19-year-old Sheila Adhiambo, abandoned her studies to get married as the third wife of US President Barack Obama’s step-brother, Malik Abong’o Obama.
Sheila lived with her widowed mother and was a Form Two student at Agoro Oyombe Secondary School in Siaya County, but she gave up school to become Mrs Obama.
“My daughter went missing on October 1, and I did not know where she was. Neighbours soon came to my home and asked me if it was true I had married off my daughter to one of the Obamas,” Ms Ouma says.
“When I heard about the marriage, I recalled Malik’s frequent visits to my home. Five days later, she came and told me to accompany her to school because she wanted to clear with the school and leave officially.
“I explained to her why it was important to finish her studies before getting married, but Sheila told me the man in her life was showering her with a lot of love.”
Continue with studies
Mother and daughter went to the school together, and despite pleas from her teachers to continue with her studies, Sheila was firm in her resolve — she wanted marriage not school.
Mrs Ouma says: “These girls are only given lollipops, mandazis and other small things and then agree to be married. I have accepted the marriage because Sheila is adamant. But I wish she could have completed school and married a younger man.”
Although Mrs Ouma admits Mr Obama brought her gifts during the holy month of Ramadhan, she claims that he had not paid dowry.
At school, Sheila’s friends told the Saturday Nation they tried, unsuccessfully, to talk her out of her romance with a man old enough to be her father.
The school principal, Mr Joshua Osuri, said Sheila insisted she would stand by her man. She said Mr Obama had done a lot for her family.
At Mr Obama’s home, his two other wives said the man of the house did not want to talk to the media, but he later relented on condition no pictures of his home were taken.
Could not wait
Mr Obama said he married Sheila after she consented and “without coercion”. ‘‘We had agreed to marry when she completes school, but she could not wait,” he said.
He added that Sheila’s mother blessed the marriage and showed us a document allegedly drafted at a Siaya mosque.
It had the signatures of an imam, Sheila’s mother and two other people whom he said were Sheila’s brothers.
“I am a Muslim and I have the right to marry up to four wives. I still have one vacancy,” he said.
Sheila’s mother has dismissed claims that she forced her daughter into marriage for material gain.
“If he provided for me, would I be trekking for over one kilometre to Ng’iya every day to roast maize?” she posed.