Finding George

Nairobi’s slums are filled with hundreds of thousands of people living cheek-by-jowl in tiny shacks. Each of the muddy streets looks the same and within minutes the visiting mzungu is completely disoriented. So finding Barack Obama’s half-brother George was never going to be easy. Especially as he had made a point of telling no-one but his closest friends about his famous relative.

I’d already spent two months trying and failing to trace him. It was sickening to discover that an Italian team from Vanity Fair had simply bumped into him at the Obama family home close to Lake Victoria – a place I must have visited about 10 times.

But in the end it was pretty straightforward. The sprawling slums are just like villages. Ask enough people and eventually you find what you’re looking for. So within an hour or so we were sitting down to nyama choma and handfuls of ugali chatting about Kenya’s medal haul at the Olympics.


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