A special tribute to Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham

Ann Dunham and Barack ObamaSingle Motherhood is becoming prevalent not just in our Society but Globally. Whatever circumstances that lead one to become a single mother, there are very pertinent questions to be asked by all. In Kenya, the biggest problem is the perceptions and stereotyping exercised on single mothers and their children,in the 21st Century!! The problem is NOT ignorance, everyone is aware that times have changed; it is a deliberate Patriachial Mentality by our Society that has REFUSED to change with the times. In my opinion, the macho male mentality is ‘afraid of losing Power’ if they embraced change!!

CHANGE IS INEVITABLE ; THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS HERE AND NOW!!

But that is a Debate for another day, this article today is a tribute to a very special mother, who took her parenting responsibilities seriously and did her job to the best of her ability, by raising her son to become the best human being he could be. Little did she know that she was raising ‘greatness’ and sadly would not live to see him make history to become the 1st African American President of The United States of America!!

Ann Dunham is the unsung heroine who has been forgotten in all this Obama euphoria!! It is obvious that fathers are not forgotten because their children bear their names, not their mother’s. She might have thought of changing it, but she made a decision not to because as a responsible parent she knew it was his Right and his identity. A difficult decision because of the disappointment and the acrimony of a divorce (I speculate) and being left with a young child to raise on her own.

It also took courage to allow him to reunite with his father when he turned ten although he didn’t enjoy a consistent relationship with his father after that but it was better to have a few memories than none at all because he would always have wondered. Not that he didn’t have many unanswered questions while growing up!! Some of the prudent decisions that his mother also made was sending him back to her parents so that he could get a good education. An observation I have made is that, although, Barack and his sister were of different fathers, she raised them to understand they were brother and sister, she did not use the divide and rule tactic. An interesting observation I have made is when President Obama talks about his sister he refers to her as ‘my sister’ but when he talks about his brothers and sisters from Kenya he refers to them as ‘my half brothers and sisters’……not to suggest that he doesn’t like them or anything!!

Drawing from Barack’s story and as a Single Mother myself, having had to make such pertinent decisions for my daughter too, I can confidently say……if there is a group of people that can claim him and his success as their own it is the Single Mothers (Parents) worldwide, but more so in Kenya!!
It is the struggle and sacrifice that we give our children, the discipline and opportunity that moulds them. As Single Mothers (Parents), have to make very difficult decisions in a very ‘hands off’ Society that is not only unwilling to help but keenly watching and waiting for you to ‘slip’ so that they can point an accusing finger!! Indeed, it is mothers who greatly impact on their children and YET the most unappreciated. Time to change this Partriachial Mentality is now and since it this Society has REFUSED to appreciate us we will take it upon ourselves and appreciate ourselves by ‘patting’ ourselves on the back for a job well done!!

This is why I am paying Special Tribute and Appreciation to Ann Dunham!! I also thank her for inspiring on us (Single Mothers) that “Indeed We Can!!” raise responsible Citizens of The World. It is what his mother imparted on Barack that defined him; good parenting, responsible decisions, values, discipline and respect for oneself and others regardless of age, gender, social status, religion or race……NOT his Kenyan genes and certainly NOT his father’s name!!

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  • Marion

    This is really an inspiring piece and having looked at it from this light makes me feel more enthusisatic withw orking with young women and especially teenage maothers who find themselves raising children alone.

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