KOGELO, Kenya (AP) — Waving her cane and smiling broadly, the step-grandmother of Barack Obama celebrated his reelection in Kogelo, the home of Barack Obama's father. The family matriarch is Sarah Obama, who was the second wife of the president's late grandfather.
"Take the great job that people have given to you and lead them well," Sarah Obama advised her relative by marriage after his victory.
Obama referred to her as "Granny" in his memoir, "Dreams from My Father," and described meeting her during his 1988 trip to his father's homeland and their awkwardness as they struggled to communicate.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga told The Associated Press that the election victory was a great day for the United States and Kenya.
Kenya has its own presidential election coming up in March. The country's last vote in late 2007 turned devastatingly violent, and more than 1,000 people were killed. Odinga said the US vote showed that elections should be decided based on issues.
"This is what we should learn from these elections, American elections, and try to see if we cannot replicate it here in Kenya, that we move away from personality based campaigns or ethnic based campaigns and move toward issue-based campaigns," Odinga said.
Eric Lugalia, a 31-year-old pilot, said he is excited Obama won again. "It also motivates us before our elections. Him being Kenyan, it motivates us to vote wisely for leaders who can bring change, unlike voting along tribal lines as we do."