Tuesday 12 December 2017

Barack Obama’s awkward hug with brother on first meeting for 20 years

Half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo has released an autobiography describing US President as ‘very cold sometimes’
Half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo has released an autobiography describing US President as ‘very cold sometimes’

Adam Withnall

A never-before-seen home video has emerged showing the awkward moment Barack Obama and his half-brother Mark Obama Ndesandjo were reunited for the first time in 20 years.

It was only the second meeting between the pair, who have the same father, and came unannounced in 2008 just minutes before the future president was due to hold a televised debate with Hilary Clinton.

Not normally in the spotlight himself, younger brother Mark  has decided to release an autobiography in which he reveals what have been described as “intimate” details of his relationship with one of the most powerful men in the world.

To coincide with that release, Inside Edition acquired footage of the meeting between the brothers, when they shared brief greetings, an uncomfortable hug and some awkward chit-chat.

Speaking to the magazine about his history with the US President, Mr Ndesandjo said: “He's very cold sometimes.”

And warning that his family will “hate me for writing this book”, Mr Ndesandjo described his and Mr Obama’s father as an abusive, violent alcoholic.

Barack Obama Snr divorced his wife, Ann Dunham, when future president Barack was only two years old. He went on to marry Mark’s mother, Ruth, after they met at Harvard in 1964.

Talking about childhood memories of domestic violence, Mr Ndesandjo told Inside Edition: “I'd always ask my mom to leave the door open, because kids are afraid of the dark. And there'd be the orange light coming from the living room and I remember the thuds and screams when my father came home. I also remember the scent of Johnny Walker Black Label.

“I remember seeing my mother on the floor on one occasion with a knife to her throat,” he added.

Mr Ndesandjo, who has lived in China since 2002 and is currently promoting his book Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery said the only time he had met his brother prior to 2008 was when Barack visited his home in Kenya, without warning, in 1988.

Recalling the events captured in the video footage released yesterday, younger brother Mark nonetheless said: “It was amazing. We just laughed and we hugged each other and we were brothers.”


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