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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 16:12 GMT
Kenya toasts US senator's victory
A victorious Barack Obama
Barack Obama is tipped as a future US president and first black leader
The Kenyan family of Barack Obama - the only black person to be elected to the US Senate in 2004 - are celebrating his victory in the state of Illinois.

The son of a Kenyan father and American mother, Mr Obama won his seat after defeating a black Republican.

His family stayed up all night in Nyanza province in western Kenya to follow the election results.

"I am so, so happy," his grandmother Sarah said. His uncle said he hoped his nephew could improve their life.

Obama beer

"It means a lot. Barack loves this family and I believe he's going to try hard to uplift the standards of life of the family here," Mr Obama's uncle Said Hussein Obama told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

Barack Obama's grandmother, Sarah Hussein Obama
I have not slept the whole night
Sarah Hussein Obama
Barack Obama's grandmother

Villagers of Nyangoma Kogalo, near the shores of Lake Victoria, have been looking forward to Mr Obama's victory for a very long time, he said.

He said Kenya had a problem getting aid, but he hoped his country would now have a voice at the heart of the American government.

"We're so happy that we have got somebody there who can actually identify with the problems of Kenya and the third world at large."

Kenyan Vice-President Moody Awori said Mr Obama's victory had lifted his spirits.

"[His win] in a way brings back the belief that in America, anyone can get to the top if one works hard."

According to the BBC's Muliro Telewa in Nyangoma Kogalo, a local beer called Senator has been nicknamed "Obama" in honour of the Illinois politician.

Barack Obama, who last visited his Kenyan home in 1992, is regarded as a potential presidential candidate. Americans have not elected a black president so far.

Mr Awori also expressed the fear that there would be more extremism in the world - if President Bush was re-elected.

Speaking to reporters in Nairobi. Mr Awori also said that he still expected America to be inward-looking and ignore the lot of developing countries even if Mr Bush's rival, John Kerry, won.

But, Mr Awori stressed that these were his own views and not those of the Kenyan government.


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