Saturday, December 21, 2013

Obama's Half brother , Mark Ndesandjo , Writes About Childhood Abuse In New Autobiography

Hong Kong (AP)-- President Barack Obama's half-brother is publishing an autobiography that details the domestic abuse thet served as the theme for his earlier semi-autobiographical novel , which featured an abusive parent patterned on their late father .

Mark Obama Ndesandjo also recounts his sporadic but intense encounters with his brother over the years "Cultures: My Odyssey of Self-Discovery." The self published book , to be released in February , also tries to set the record straight on some points in the president's bestselling 1995 memoir, "Dreams From My Father." In that book , Obama seeks to learn more about their father , a mostly absent figure , after learning of his death in a car crash in 1982 at the age of 46 .

Ndesandjo's book comes four years layer after his novel ,"Nairobi to Shenzhen: A Novel of Love in the East." As in his first book , Ndesandjo wanted to raise awareness of domestic abuse by using his family's story , although he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday that the president's relatives have not universally welcomed his airing of private matters to the public . Ndesandjo spoke ahead of a news conference to launch the book in Guangzhou on Thursday .

When asked how he would describe his relationship with his brother , he said , "Right now it's cold and I think part of the reason is because of my writing . My writing has alienated some people in my family ."

Even though he left their relationship was distant , "I hope that my brother and I can really hug each other after he's president and we can be a family again," said Ndesandjo , who resembles Obama . Like the President , Ndesandjo also has a white American mother , Ruth Ndesandjo , a Jewish woman who was Barack Obama Sr.'s third wife .

Ndesandjo , 48 , has lived for 12 years in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen , next door to Hong Kong . He moved there to teach English after losing his job when the US. economy cratered folloling September 11 , 2001 , attacks and now works as a consultant . Ndesandjo , who is married to a Chinese woman learned to speak Chinese and immersed himself in the study on Chinese culture , including poetry and brush calligraphy . Trained as a classical pianist , he gives lessons as a volunteer at an orphanage .

Some of the book's profits will go to charities for children , including Ndesandjo's own foundation , which uses art to help disadvantaged kids .

In his new book , Ndesandjo recalls alcohol-fueled beating meted out by his father to his mother . He recounts on incident in which his father held a knife to his mother's throat because she took out a restraining order against him .

His parents met when Obama Sr. was a graduate student at Harvard University and moved in 1964 to Kenya , when Mark and his brother David was born . David later died in a motorcycle accident .

Obama Sr. had earlier divorced President Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham , after Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961 .

Mark Ndesandjo's mother later divorced the senior Obama and married another man , whose surname both mother and son took .

Ndesandjo and Obama did not grow up together . Ndesandjo was brought up in Keyna but moved to the U.S. for college , earning a bachelor's degree in physics at Brown University , a master's in the same subject from  Stanford University and MBA at Emory University .

The book recounts Ndesandjo's first encounter with Obama , who was visiting Kenya in 1988 . They did not hit it off .

"Barack thought I was too white and I thought he was too black ," Ndesandjo said . "He was an American searching for his African roots , I was a Kenyan , I'm an American but I was living in Kenya , searching for my white roots ."

The 500-page book includes an appendix listing a number of alleged factual errors in Obama's 1995 memoir, "Dreams from my Father," such as quotes incorrectly attributed to Ndesandjo' mother .
It's a correction . A lot of stuff that Barack wrote is wrong  in that book and I can understand  that because to me  for him the book was a tool  for fashioning  an identity and he was using composites ,"  Ndesandjo said .
"I wanted to bring it up because first of all I wanted the record  to be straight . I wanted o tell my own story , not let people tell it to me ," he said .
Witchy says : Definitely a well educated family ! I will be in line to get that book ... Obama's sister wrote  a very good book also , she was educated in Germany , she received a PHD there . At least Obama's family believes in education .
Obama's father only saw him once when he was 10 .  The brother (on the other hand) had to grow up with him . Two different upbringings .


  1. Very interesting post PIC. In fact the whole family is interesting and all seem to be intelligent and definitely thinkers. I think they got that from their old man but not his drinking and anger issues, thank goodness.

    luv ya

  2. I agree ... I hope they mend their rift ... there is nothing more important than family . I think they both have big egos .
    Luv ya