*Famed Long Beach photographer Navis Oliver reissues his coffee table-book “Granny: Mama Sarah Obama A Pictorial Essay” to celebrate her life after her recent passing. Oliver has traveled as far as Africa for photography assignments. On his first trip to Kenya, he found himself literally at the doorstep of Sarah Obama, the grandmother of President Obama.
Affectionately called Mama Sarah Obama she was the last surviving grandparent of President Obama and the official grandmother of her village Kogelo. Navis was granted permission to take these pictures for a picture book on her life, Mama Sarah Obama was 94 years-old.
For Oliver it was an act of love and respect for her and all African and African-American grandmothers who are nurturing multigenerational family relationships in both Africa and America.
Navis sights the Africa proverb “It takes a village” as being birth from this African tradition of respecting the village elders and those elders taking on the parent role where and when needed for all villagers. Navis Oliver met Mama Sarah Obama while in Kogelo, Kenya in 2013 when she was 92 – making her 99 at the time of her passing.
Navis and a group of others were on their way to Lake Victoria in Kenya when the community elder asked if they wanted to drive by President Obama’s grandmother house. They said yes and when they got there, the community elder came back and said Mama Sarah Obama was feeling tired but said she would meet with the group.
They set up tables and chairs under a big tree and she talked to them about her village and her famous grandson. After several visits Navis, always the photographer asked if he could take pictures of her and the other family members for a picture book on her. He was granted permission and the result is “Granny: Mama Sarah Obama A Pictorial Essay.” A portion of the proceeds of the book, as promised to Mama Sarah Obama, goes to the Sarah Obama Foundation.
@NavisOliver and @Navis Oliver Photography (Facebook)
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Long Beach, CA 90807