Obama's stepmother helps raise funds for poor in SA

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
By: 
Edwin Tshivhidzo

Pretoria - United States President Barack Obama's stepmother is currently in South Africa to help raise money for a charity - by playing bingo.

Kezia Obama, 67, who was married to President Obama's father, Barack Senior, is using her love of the numbers game to raise funds for Operation Hunger.

Ms Obama is expected to play bingo in Gauteng's major malls including Kolanade centre, Centurion Mall, Rooihuiskraal, Westgate and Alberton.

She will also visit charity organisations countrywide as well as Constitutional Hill and the Apartheid Museum.

Speaking at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday, Ms Obama said she liked playing bingo and has won several competitions. "I like playing bingo and helping people. I'm here to raise funds to help children," she said.

Director of Viva Bingo Percy Shabalala told BuaNews that they chose Ms Obama to help with fundraising because of her love for bingo and passion to help the poor.

Operation Hunger helps feed people living in impoverished and conflict-stricken areas.

The organisation also works with local communities to initiate locally specific development programmes designed to create an environment conducive to optimum child growth.