Standing behind the liquor store counter the man quietly and anonymously goes about his job serving customers.
He had arrived for his shift promptly at 3pm after filling up his gleaming silver Toyota Rav 4 with gas and taking out the trash at his modest two-storey yellow clapboard house in a downtrodden Massachusetts neighbourhood.
This a fascinating glimpse into the life of Onyango ‘Omar’ Obama, 68, the half-uncle of President Barack Obama — and an illegal immigrant who Mitt Romney had already signalled should be deported if he won his bid for the Presidency.
A regular customer of the shop where he works in Framingham, said, “Onyango Obama certainly lives a life that is a world away from President Barack Obama. The house he lives in, with its tatty curtains, could do with some sprucing up, it’s clear he doesn’t have a lot of cash.”
Onyango, referred to in President Obama’s 1995 book Dreams From My Father as ‘Uncle Omar’ is the younger half brother of the President’s late father, Barack Obama Sr., a scholar from Kenya who was rarely in his son’s life.
In the autobiography, President Obama said, “He was the uncle who left for America 25 years ago and had never come back.”
Born in Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya, his father, Onyango, is President Obama’s paternal grandfather, while his mother Sarah is Onyango Sr’s third wife, who although she is not a blood relative, is referred to by the US President as “Granny Sarah.”
Onyango Jr moved to America in 1963 as part of Tom Mboya’s Airlift Africa project, where Kenyan students were flown to the US to study at American universities.
His life is detailed in The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father by reporter Sally H. Jacobs.
Onyango Obama was accepted at a boys’ school then known as Browne & Nichols, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to Jacobs’s book.
Back then, the younger Obama was known as Omar Okech Obama, and he was described in the book as tall and good-natured.
According to the book, he stood out as apparently the only African student at the preparatory school, where boys wore blazers to class.
For reasons that are unclear, Obama left the school after two years and enrolled in the Newton public schools in the fall of 1965.
By then, his older brother had returned to Kenya, and without him, Obama appeared to falter.
He dropped out of school and changed his name to O. Onyango Obama, according to the book.
For a while, he lived in an apartment on Perry Street in Cambridge that became a well known meeting place for Kenyan students.
It is unclear what happened to him next – a relative described him to the future US president during his trip to Kenya as being “lost” according to the president’s memoir.
But Obama resurfaced in 1994, when he was apparently the clerk on duty at a Dorchester convenience store as two masked men burst in, beat him with a sawed off shotgun, and robbed him, according to Jacobs’s book.
He managed to keep a low profile for almost 20 years, until he steered his white Mitsubishi SUV outside the Chicken Bone Saloon last August.
Police said he had a blood alcohol level of 0.14 per cent, which is above the legal limit of 0.08 in Massachusetts.
Parimal Patel, his boss at Conti Liquors, said Obama earned about $1,300 a month and was never any trouble.
Patel said Obama presented a valid Social Security number when he applied for the job and told the Boston News last year, “He never talked about his immigration status. It never crossed our minds, he had a W-2 and everything.”
Headlines Newsview all
President Buhari Begs Niger Delta Militants : Please Stop Pipeline Bombings, I Plead In The Name Of God Almighty
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pleaded with Niger Delta militants to soft pedal on the bombing and destruction of oil and gas installations. He asked those close ...
U.S. officials have “solid evidence” of the alleged misconduct Ambassador James Entwistle reported to House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, high-level diplomatic sources say. In a ... Full story
Rate this article
The actress and TV presenter took to Instagram to narrate the unfortunate incident and to show proof of her injury sustained in the ugly encounter: "On ... Full story
Xherdan Shaqiri of Switzerland scored arguably the best goal of the 2016 EURO's after his fantastic bicycle kick goal drew Switzerland level with Poland ...
The eagerly-anticipated clash between Wales and Northern Ireland is the first time two home nations have met in the knockout stages of a major tournament. It ...
Arsenal may have to do without Alex Iwobi for the start of the new Premier League season after the midfielder was included in the provisional ...
– Tiwa Savage, the entertainer whose career is perfectly modelled on resilience, talent and media savviness – The Nigerian pop star is currently arguably Africa’s biggest female ...
ITV dating show, Love Island left viewers in shock as two housemates - Malin and Terry - slept with themselves openly in front of fellow housemates ...
Nollywood actress, Stella Damasus blushed like a newly crowned princess after famous celebrity and former wrestler Dwayne Johnson showed some love on her by replying ... Full story
West Ham have made a €35m bid for Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi, according to reports. The Hammers' offer was worth around £28.25m at 9am on Friday ...
Paul Okoye's signing, Lucy, continued her radio tour after her new banging song which featured reggae artiste, Cynthia Morgan. The singer was recently at Rhythm FM, ... Full story
Popular veteran actress, Patience Ozokwor, who recently turned a born-again christain, has been pictured recently ministering to a congregation at an Anglican Church in the ... Full story