November 4th, 2008
12:06 PM ET

If Obama wins, the bull gets slaughtered

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/04/art.kogelocow.jpg caption="The bull that is set to be slaughtered should Obama win"]

David McKenzie | BIO
CNN Correspondent

The entire village of Kogelo, in Western Kenya, is supporting Obama on election day. Well, almost. There is one supporter of Senator McCain here. And that's the bull that will be slaughtered should Barack Obama win.

Feasting on a bull is traditional in this part of Africa and in the world headquarters of Obamamania outside of the US, there will be a lot of nervous bovine tonight.

CNN's come here because this is the ancestral home of Barack Obama (as Kenyan's see it). And in a few hours this remote place could be part of history.

Barack Obama Senior, the senator's father, was born in this was born in the remote district of less than a thousand people. His grandmother lives in simple house now surrounded by a fence and Kenyan police.

But that's not the only family in Kogelo. The entire clan has descended onto the village. There are half-brothers and aunts, half sisters and uncles-the large extended family that is now famous in Kenya.

Malik Obama, Senator Obama's half brother.

The locals tell us that usually not much happens here. But Kogelo Village has become a media village; inundated with local and international journalists. There are hordes of us here. Running around in busses and SUVs, hitching rides on bikes and pumping out live shots on satellite.

As voting started in the US, prayer meetings were held at the local medical dispensary calling for an Obama victory. In celebratory Pentecostal prayers, the district called for a great Obama victory.

The extended family of Obama have gone from a relatively simple country life to giving press conferences on the yard of their homestead in rural Kenya.

They are being coy about a possible Obama victory, but when I spoke to Malik Obama, Obama's half brother, he couldn't help himself. "There is an opportunity for change and the thing is that this agent for change is home bred," he said, "we are looking forward to a great celebration."

And so is the whole of Kenya.

I have seen Obama bootleg CDs pulled from CNN air being sold in Nairobi, Obama '08 pins pushed by hawkers and even Obama Campaign billboards looking over the bumpy streets and bicycle taxis of Kisumu.

As voting continues in America and the results trickle in they are hooking up car batteries to borrowed TVs and hunkering down next to tiny radios to wait to see if their favorite son can make it all the way to the Whitehouse.

More pictures from Kogelo, Kenya

A writer for the London times with a present for the Obamas

Malik Obama, Senator Obama's half brother, gives a press conference in Kogelo

Journalists descend onto Kogelo

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • David McKenzie
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Ty

    In response to Cindy, only small minded people would respond in a small minded manner. They have every reason to be happy. Have you ever traveled to Africa? Do you know anything about African culture? Do you know what makes them happy? You can have all of the wealth in the world and still live an unhappy and miserable life. What matters most is your foundation. Maybe you should visit Africa and you too may come to understand why they are happy.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Luis

    To cindy from GA...

    You must remember Obama only saw his Dad once when he was 9 or 10. He cares about the family that raised him. This folks are relatives not family. I am the father of 2 adopted children...my kids are my family....and their birth mother and her family and just distant relatives. So do not pass judgement on that is very narrow minded and very republican.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  3. Jennifer Wagner

    Obama was born in Hawaii. And even if he was born in Africa, as the son of an American citizen he is automatically a citizen at birth.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  4. Jeff

    Cindy .... just because they don't live like you, doesn't mean they live in poverty. That is such a typically North American comment. I bet they have less debt than you, and are at least as happy.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  5. jen

    Barack was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  6. Kitty, Canada

    How typical people suspect Obama's birth place, patriotism, loyalty to your country, etc. Not everyone's family came over on the Mayflower. Is it because he's black that these questions are constantly asked? So what if his family background is Kenyan? Aren't you a melting pot of a country? If he were white with a Scottish background would you question his loyalty to Scotland?

    I find some people who don't have a multi-cultural background to be a lot more narrow-minded in world views.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  7. Tess

    Peggy: Obama was born in Hawaii and FYI Mc Cain was born in Panama, on a military base. Does it really matter? And to Cindy, his family members ARE happy and proud and perhaps like the way in which they live–you are projecting your standards and assume that the amount of money they make dictates their happiness.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  8. Dani

    Listen Peggy...you're reaching honey...let it go! He was born in Hawaii. He has family from another country...so do alot of Americans...doesn't make them any less American...just let it go!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  9. mikael fata

    peggy do you want video of his birth, the hawaiian clerk produced his certified copy of his birth certificate. enough alread!!! If you want to split hairs mccain was born in panama on a military base. I thought "history in the making" said it beautifully. America wake up and lets all walk into the twenty first century.
    p.s. i feel sorry for the bull

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  10. Tina

    Oh Peggy, just stop the hate and move on who cares right about now? Go Obama/Biden 08

    November 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  11. Felecia

    To Peggy: stop the madness!! The man was born in Hawaii. Petty Peggy.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  12. Shaniquia

    I think that Obama is goin to be a good presedent. He know what people needs and he will save us all.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  13. kake

    God help us all.......

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  14. desiree

    i know in my heart Obama is the change we need to move this country in a different direction!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  15. Meg

    Cindy – Obama can't "take care" of his extended family in Kenya, he DOES care but he barely knows them. He went there as an adult, had he never visited them they would barely know he existed. Besides, who does he support, his fathers 2nd or 3rd wife? All their kids too? How soon does that get into supporting people he knows so little about that anything they do reflects on him I can see the headlines now, "Obama supports polygamy!"

    I was born in Kenya and the culture there is TOTALLY different. For one thing by Kenyan standards they are not living in poverty, there is nothing shameful about living in a hut! The extended family there is structured differently than here, and is enormous. Here an uncle is your mother or father's brother, there it's anyone loosely related that is older than you, and so on.

    It's a compelling story but meaningless in the big picture. Say somebody from your town got a Nobel Prize, or your cousin married Prince William of England, wouldn't there be a celebration in your town?

    Like that.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  16. Lynn, CT

    To Cindy,
    Mr. Obama's family has expressed their desire to remain living as they do. His grandmother is not interested in his money. They are happy with their lives. Just because he's not giving handouts does not mean he doesn't care.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  17. Karen

    Peggy and Cindy:

    After you finish voting, go to the nearest library and check out both of Obama's books and actually read them. He can tell you, in his own words, about his birth and his family. Nothing second hand, but, true and factual information, as well as his perspective on things.

    Who knows? You all might learn something and be pleasantly surprised.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  18. Arlene

    It really doesn't matter who wins, now does it? Whatever the outcome,
    we will all be subject to changes. I'll just be glad when it's all over,
    I'm sick of TV slams, it's the same every election. Just once, I would
    love to see candidates be honest about the changes they say they will make, and tell you HOW they will make them instead of concentrating on slamming their opponents. When candidates act this foolishly
    trying to get votes, doesn't it make you wonder what kind of leader
    they will be????

    November 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  19. Simon Templer

    Peggy, even McCain has given up...let it go 🙂

    He was in the womb of his "white" American mother for nine months!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  20. Paul

    ... and they'll all show up at the border seeking refugee status.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  21. Maria

    I am amused by the comment from Cindy in Ga. There are thousands of Americans who have roots and families in other lands and who don't have contact with them. My cousins choose to live in tropical mountains under conditions that amaze me. Yet, they don't begrudge me whatever material success I have acquired nor do they envy me. The few times I've been able to visit them and live with them, not as a tourist in a hotel, I have witnessed the many blessings they have in their lives also. About four decades ago, one aunt left the mountains and went to the city. Then she left the island for a while but returned again. She is now a retired educator who received a doctorate while sisters and cousins remained laborers or housewives. We are all proud of her but also happy with our own roads taken. There is no one-size-fits-all in cultures and families. I understand the feelings expressed by Obama's distant family. He may not have been born among them, but he is still family and they are proud.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  22. Suubie

    this is not just about kenyans and that small village in kogelo, its a sign of things to happen world over and especially in the United States..... united in the cause is what counts, home bred or not.....

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  23. Sam, California

    In response to Cindy from Georgia: I didn't see anything about the article or from the pictures that indicate that his family in Kenya is living in poverty. I admit, I haven't really been following his Kenyan family's story, but just because they don't live like us in a too big house or with lots of un-necessary material things, doesn't mean that they are poor. They are obviously richer in spirit than you as they choose to be happy about an event that may have no direct impact on their lives.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  24. Mimsie

    Cindy, why do you think his family lives in poverty? They seem to be living decently.
    how do you know Obama doesn't give them the time of day?
    all assumptions.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  25. Peggy

    His own half-brother says Obama is "home bred." So, where was Obama born?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  26. History in the making

    Reconciliation-From the shores of Africa to the shores of the United States of America-a prayer answered from those whose blood, tears and lives were forever changed because of man’s inhumanity to man and the need to control.

    Today, with the help of the Almighty, a child born of this union will bridge the gap and the healing will begin. No more can we go back to yesterday but instead look to the future.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  27. Jemma St. Lawrence

    From Kenya to America, from Kogelo Village to Columbus, Ohio and from Hawaii to Chicago, the Obama Presidential nomination and campaign regardless of outcome proves that the world is integrally connected and that this century is the century of globalism.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  28. Sharon Kitchen

    I think this is a great report. Well........maybe not so much for the bull.
    But everyone has a tradition .
    I know everyone I know will be watching the results.................
    I am praying Obama/Biden will win for '08.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  29. Angel

    I'm a 14 year old girl who really hope BRACK OBAMA wins but not because
    he's black because he can make a big difference in America and i believes in him

    November 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  30. Michael Priller

    This political event transends even boarders of a nation to give hope to not only the people of the U.S. but those around the world.
    This event tells all nationalities that if the people are not only heard but actually listened to then the color of skin, the political party you belong to, and the nation you support ,,,,can overcome adversities and create a future that is bright and full of hope.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm |
  31. Cindy

    Why are they so happy? Obama doesn't even give them the time of day! Once he is president, if he wins he sure won't have any time for them. If he cared anything about them would they be living in poverty? His own grandmother....but yeah, he cares so much.


    November 4, 2008 at 12:20 pm |