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Archive for the ‘Kenya’ Category

Victor Kgomoeswana Examines the Stories Behind the Headlines in Africa Is Open For Business

Africa Is Open For BusinessNew from Pan Macmillan, Africa Is Open For Business by Victor Kgomoeswana:

Victor Kgomoeswana, well known as an African business expert with a profile on radio and television, shares 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years on the African continent.

From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories in between, Kgomoeswana criss-crosses the continent to highlight the most fascinating business stories and their impact on the future of Africa.

Africa is Open for Business contains a dynamic and different view of the opportunities available in Africa from those usually portrayed in the news and in other media. Kgomoeswana focuses on the stories behind the headlines as well as sharing his personal experiences of Africa while travelling and doing business in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative.

About the author

Victor Kgomoeswana is the Executive in Business Development at PPC, a listed South African cement company with operations in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and expanding into the rest of the continent. His role is finding investment and growth opportunities for PPC and laying the foundation for engagement. He has been presenting the weekly African Business Report on Talk Radio 702’s Africa Business Report since July 2007 and features frequently as a guest on CNBC Africa, SABC television and radio stations on the topic of African business. Kgomoeswana is the founding editor of Eye on Africa, Ernst & Young’s regular publication that highlights investment opportunities across the continent, and he is a contributor to several conferences and other discussions on Africa as an investment destination. This is his first book.

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Auma Obama Says Sustainable Solutions Must Reflect People’s Experiences in the Developing World

And Then Life HappensIn an interview with Deutsche Welle, Auma Obama, sister of US president Barack Obama and author of And Then Life Happens, discussed the problems of the developing world when it comes to issues of sustainability.

Through her organisation, Sauti Kuu, Obama has come to see that things like pollution and over-fertilisation mean very little to poor people when they are struggling just to feed themselves and their children. She talked about how the solutions may seem simple and attainable to some, but have to reflect the lived experiences of the people.

Deutsche Welle: Ms. Obama, high expectations were placed on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June this year. What is still left of that?

Auma Obama: We have to realize that there are no quick fixes. We have to cooperate even more and – most of all – we have to develop down-to-earth answers to overcome environmental problems.

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Branwen Okpako Reveals More About Her Award-winning Auma Obama Film (Plus: Podcast)

And Then Life HappensAuma Obama has had an AMAA award-winning documentary made about her life. In an AllAfrica interview, the filmmaker Branwen Okpako talks about her own life, being friends with Obama and the film’s genesis:

Weekend Magazine: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Branwen Okpako: I was born in Lagos, Nigeria to an Urhobo pharmacologist father and a Welsh librarian mother. My younger brother and I had a happy childhood on the beautiful campus of the University of Ibadan. I later attended the Atlantic College in Wales where I completed my International Baccalaureate, before going to the University of Bristol where I studied politics. After that I came to Berlin to study at the DFFB (German Film and Television Academy), here I met and studied with Tsitsi Dangarembga, Wanjiru Kinyanjui and Auma Obama. I have stayed in Berlin where I continue to make films and raise my children.

In an interview with Radio Today’s Sue Grant-Marshall, Auma Obama talked about her early life with her father, and how she later met her half-brother, the man who would become the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. Listen to the podcast:

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Auma Obama Film Shown at the Film Africa Festival in London on US Election Day

Auma and BarackObama family

And Then Life HappensA documentary about Auma Obama, half-sister of US President Barack Obama, was shown in London yesterday to coincide with the US election. Screenings of The Education of Auma Obama from part of the Film Africa festival.

The film was made by Nigerian-born Branwen Okpako, who now lives in Germany. She has been a friend of Auma Obama’s since the two met in film school in Berlin. When Okpako decided to make the film, Obama was apparently not too thrilled about the idea, but because Okpako is a friend, she felt reassured enough to consent to it.

Barack Obama, who was re-elected today as US President, focused in his election campaign on issues of family, women’s rights, education, health, jobs and more equality across the board. These are some of the things Auma Obama espouses in her own life and work in Nairobi, Kenya, with her organisation Sauti Kuu.

The Education of Auma Obama chronicles Obama’s life and follows the family in Kenya, documenting the moment in 2008 when her half-brother became the US President. Auma Obama’s memoir And Then Life Happens details her early years and includes how she met her half-brother and developed a deep affection for him.

When Barack Obama won the U.S. election four years ago, his Kenyan half sister Auma was with her family at their homestead, watching the historic occasion on television.

It was a night Auma Obama remembers well. “We had a lot of people visiting to watch with us,” she says. “There was a lot of excitement because it had been such a tough race. There was a sense of relief that all the hard work had paid off.

Winner of the award for Best Diaspora Documentary at the 2012 African Movie Academy Awards, ‘The Education of Auma Obama’ is a character portrait of the US President’s older half-sister, Auma.

Born, raised and now living in Kenya, Auma is a teacher who is seeking to inspire the future generation of socially-engaged activists who will lead the country.

Barack Jr and Auma are the children of Barack Sr, a Harvard-trained economist who lost his life in a car accident.

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Images courtesy of Eurosport and Jambo News Spot

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Interview: Sue Grant-Marshall Finds out More About Auma Obama’s Life

And Then Life HappensSue Grant-Marshall interviewed Auma Obama, author of And Then Life Happens: A Memoir, for Business Day.

Obama discussed her reluctance to write about her brother, Barack, and spoke about the difficulties she experienced growing up and adjusting to western culture when she left Kenya as a young woman:

It’s never easy being the sibling of someone extremely famous. This is compounded when he’s one of the most powerful men in the world and you’ve grown up apart, on far-flung continents, in different cultural and ethnic societies. Auma Obama comments, somewhat tartly, that people are usually disappointed when she tells them there’s nothing special about her relationship with Barack.

“It’s boring. We’re just a brother and sister who see each other whenever we have the time,” she says. That is revealing in itself, for many families connected in similarly unusual circumstances might ensure their paths never crossed. But it’s clear from her book, And Then Life Happens (St Martin’s Press), that their relationship is more than a biological incident. It’s a friendship.

It was Barack Obama, in his early 20s back in 1984 when he was working in “the projects” in Chicago, who first reached out to his half-sister, who was working in Germany.

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Auma Obama wys sy hoef nie vir broer Barack terug te staan nie in And Then Life Happens

And Then Life HappensToe Auma Obama, president Barack Obama se halfsuster, Suid-Afrika onlangs besoek het om haar memoir, And Then Life Happens, te bemark, het Margot Pakendorf en Janice Keogh die boek se bekendstelling by die Goethe-instituut in Johannesburg bygewoon.

Albei is ná die bekendstelling daarvan oortuig dat hierdie vrou, wat van kleins af in opstand gekom het teen die paternalistiese stelsel in Kenia en sonder haar pa se toestemming ‘n beurs by ‘n Duitse universiteit aanvaar het, allermins op haar halfbroer se roem hoef te ry. Sy het uiteindelik na Kenia teruggekeer waar sy vir die nie-regeringsorganisasie Care gewerk het en op die oomblik staan sy aan die hoof van Sauti Kuu, ‘n organisasie wat veral meisies bemagtig om hul omstandighede te verander.

Lees Pakendorf en Keogh se berigte oor die bekendstelling:

Toe die Goethe-instituut ’n uitnodiging stuur vir die bekendstelling van Auma Obama se lewensverhaal dog ek ja wat, sy ry lekker op haar beroemde halfbroer (sy het hom eers as volwassene ontmoet in die 1980’s) se roem.

Ek woon dit toe wel by, weliswaar langtand.

Maar was ek bly dat ek gegaan het! Sy is so sterk, welsprekend en intelligent soos haar broer. Toe die vrou wat haar moes bekend stel haar boek langdradig begin opsom, onderbreek sy haar summier, sê sy is ongemaklik daarmee, vra kan sy buitentoe gaan totdat die vrou klaar is en dan vir vrae terugkom? Sy vat duidelik nie kaf van kabouters nie, dog ek.

Haar broer is die eerste swart president van die VSA en in restaurante en in lughawens wêreldwyd word sy oorval deur mense wat meer oor Barack Obama wil weet.

Dit het so erg geword dat Auma Obama haar deesdae net met haar voornaam voorstel en as iemand begin vra: “Maar is jy nie?.. dan jok sy.


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Auma Obama Discusses Her Memoir And Then Life Happens at Idasa

Auma Obama

Auma Obama, sister of US President Barack Obama, was in Cape Town recently to promote her autobiography, And Then Life Happens. Packed with anecdotes of her life in Kenya and her eventual departure to Germany, Auma’s story is yet another in the canon of post-colonial memoirs that will serve as a reminder to many that the experiences of Africans in the diaspora are at once varied and distinct, but not without certain similarities.

Auma Obama chats to Carlotta von MaltzanAnd Then Life HappensTranslated from the German by Ross Benjamin, And Then Life Happens offers a candid look at Auma’s early life and family, and her education in Germany. She also writes of her move to England for love, marriage and giving birth to her daughter Akinyi.

Carlotta von Maltzan of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Stellenbosch) was in conversation with her at Idasa, where Obama addressed many of the aspects of her life that are covered in the book. She began by speaking about her early years and revealed that she had learned German because she was not that interested in French: “German is easy, it speaks to how direct I am. In fact if you just change the letters of some of the words, they become English words! I know someone here in the audience will disagree!”

Obama read a couple of passages from the book, including a piece which describes her arrival in Germany as a teenager. A second passage provided the audience with plenty of laughs, and she detailed her experience of culture shock in Germany. “I was so young and naive, only 19. I’ve changed since then.”

Obama is clearly very passionate about the work she does, with her organization Sauti Kuu, emphasised the need for Africans to end the “victim mentality” and move to being self-reliant: “You’ll see people in the slums in Kenya, just waiting to be spotted by NGOs. And this is what we must stop. If children can look at you in the eyes, and understand that they matter, and gain their own self-worth…everything that I do is to teach young people to dream bigger, to look for opportunities that will help them to help themselves. Not to look for a handout.”

The Goethe Institut, who brought Obama to South Africa for the Idasa launch and others around South Africa, provided delicious and plentiful fare for the substantial audience. After the talk, many lingered to take their photograph with Auma and get their copy of And Then Life Happens signed.

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Luso Mnthali tweeted from the launch using #livebooks:

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Video: Auma Obama Recalls Meeting Barack (Plus: Extract from And Then Life Happens)

And Then Life HappensAuma Obama, sister of US President Barack Obama, released her autobiography, And Then Life Happens, in English in April this year.

Obama spoke to TODAY’s Ann Curry about the memoir, originally published in German as Das Leben kommt immer dazwischen, in which she describes meeting her brother for the first time.

TODAY has also published an extract from the book.


“Our father was someone from whom everyone expected too much,” I said, when we had finished eating. “He didn’t know how to defend himself against the many demands made on him. His sense of duty toward the larger Obama family was very strong. But the reverse was unfortunately not always the case.”

“What do you mean by that?” asked Barack. We were now sitting in his living room. While we ate, I had tried to explain to my brother the phenomenon of the “chosen ones,” for he just couldn’t understand how a single person could be expected to assume responsibility for an extended family.

“I understand that it’s hard for you to grasp,” I replied. “I basically feel the same way. But it’s simply what our tradition requires. There were times when there wasn’t even enough money for my school fees, and I had to watch our father give away everything he had left to a relative. He was always confident that we would somehow get by.” Against my will, my words had sounded despondent.

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Photo courtesy the Daily Mail

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Barack Obama’s Sister, Auma, to Discuss Her Autobiography And Then Life Happens

And Then Life Happens: A MemoirAuma Obama, sister of US President Barack Obama, will be discussing her book And Then Life Happens in Joburg at the Goethe Institut on the 14th of June and she will be in Cape Town, at IDASA, on the 15th of June.

Auma was born in Kenya, and left the country at the age of 19 to study in Germany. During her 16 years there, she was confronted with the contradictions between European and African culture. Afraid of not really belonging to either, she was frustrated and had the feeling of being torn apart. Her personal story gives an insight into life between different cultures. Join the author for a discussion of her life and lessons, as she launches her autobiography on Thursday 14 June at the Goethe Institute in Joburg and on Friday 15 June at the IDASA building in Cape Town.

See you there!

Event Details: Johannesburg

  • Date: Thursday, 14 June 2012
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Venue: Goethe Institut,
    119 Jan Smuts Avenue,
    Johannesburg | Map
  • RSVP: 011 442 3232

Event Details: Cape Town

  • Date: Friday, 15 June 2012
  • Time: 7:00 PM
  • Venue: IDASA Building,
    6 Spin Street
    Cape Town | Map

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Auma Obama Writes About Her Life and Brother Barack Obama in And Then Life Happens

And Then Life HappensThe German Goethe-Institut of SA is hosting Auma Obama (President Barack Obama’s half-sister) on 13 and 14 June 2012 in Johannesburg and 15 June 2012 in Cape Town, to speak about her moving memoir of her life in Africa and Europe, and her relationship with her brother, And Then Life Happens. Her memoir will be released by Pan Macmillan in June:

While her younger brother Barack grew up in the U.S. and Indonesia, Auma Obama’s childhood played out at the other end of the world in a remote village in Kenya, the birthplace of the siblings’ shared father. Barack and Auma met for the first time in the 1980s, and they built a lasting relationship which lead to travels together in Kenya, research into their family history and finally Auma’s support for her brother’s political career and eventual bid for the U.S. presidency.

Auma spent sixteen years studying and living in Germany, moved to England for love, and gave birth to a daughter there. The tension between her original and chosen worlds and cultures was a constant challenge, and eventually Auma returned to Africa and worked to support young men and women in shaping their futures.

In And Then Life Happens, her candid and emotional memoir, Auma shares her own story as well as recollections of and experiences with her famous brother, who says about their first encounter: “I hugged her, we looked at each other, and laughed. I knew right then that I loved her.”

About the author

Auma Obama was born in Kenya right after the country gained its independence. She grew up first with her mother and paternal grandparents, and later with her (and President Obama’s) father and American step-mother. She now works in Nairobi for CARE International, an organisation specialising in educational projects worldwide.

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