How Malik Obama fell out with his brother and was seduced by Donald Trump

Malik Obama - a look into the man who is Barack Obama's half-brother

Malik Obama (Getty)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Donald Trump's made an unusual - but not entirely unexpected - move ahead of this evening's debate. 

He's invited a man called Malik to join him at the venue in Las Vegas where the debate will be held. Why is this unusual? 

Because Malik is a member of Barack Obama's family. In fact he's the half-brother of the president himself.

The president's family tree is nothing if not diverse. He has Native American ancestry, Irish cousins, an Indonesian half-sister, and a number of Kenyan half-siblings - of whom Malik is one. He's also the most prominent member of the Obama family, largely because he regularly expressed his views on his half-brother's presidency and the fact he'll be voting for Donald Trump, highlighting what appears to be a major divide in the Obama family.

Three years separate the half-siblings - Malik was born in 1958, Obama in 1961 - and they are related through their father Barack Obama Sr. Malik is his son with his first wife, a woman named Kezia, whom he married in 1954. They proceeded to have a daughter named Auma in 1960, but her father was absent when she was born. At the time of her birth, Obama Sr had enrolled as a foreign student at the University of Hawaii. This was where he met an American woman named Ann Dunham - Obama's mother.

The two began dating, and Dunham soon became pregnant. Obama Sr then married her at Wailuku on the island of Maui. He did tell her of Kezia, but also informed her they were divorced. It would be years before she found out this was untrue - at this point, it was still culturally acceptable for men in Kenya to take multiple wives. 

Barack Hussein Obama II was born on the 4th of August 1961, but the family was only together for a matter of weeks. Dunham soon moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, taking the baby Barack with her.

Malik met his younger half-brother for the first time in 1985 in Washington D.C. Reports suggested they were relatively close - they both served as the best men at each others' weddings, and they also met again when Barack brought his wife Michelle to Kenya, also meeting other members of the Obama family. 

Yet while the pair are both US citizens, they have little else in common. One is a jet-setting president, whose political career could not be more successful or prominent. The other leads an understated life in a small farming village called Kogelo, in Kenya, where many of the president's relatives live, and where their father is buried. He's said to prefer that to living in the cities in America, running a small electronics shop just outside of the village. 

Once Obama was elected as president in 2008, their relationship has appeared to have cooled as they hold starkly contrasting views on the sort of changes Barack has introduced over the course of his presidency.

Same-sex marriage is an obvious example. According to The New York Post, the elder Obama is against same-sex marriage but his half-brother clearly holds the opposing view, having made it legal for same-sex couples to become legally married in any of America's 50 states last year. Malik apparently supported Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, whom he considered to be a friend, before Barack's government intervened in the conflict which eventually left the colonel dead. 

Malik's complained about having to make appointments to see his brother, most notably on Good Morning Britain. As the rift has grown he has expressed his “deep disappointment” in his brother Barack’s time as president, making his support for Donald Trump clear. 

By inviting him to the debate tonight, the Republican candidate appears to have accomplished two things. He's made his support appear slightly more varied, and he's also taken a shot at the incumbent president (who represents the rival Democrat party) by highlighting that a member of his own family is against him. 

Once the election is over, and a new candidate is sworn in, there'll be time for reconciliation. But with the public comments the elder Obama has made, the fundamental difference of opinion, and the sheer distance of their worlds, the wounds to this relationship may never heal.