Sauti Kuu Foundation founder Auma Obama has defended her remarks on emancipating the Luo community from the culture of begging. Auma said the culture of “gonya gonya” (asking for handouts) and konya konya (unshackle me) must be done away with through empowering the young generation. She explained what she meant on Monday when former US President Barack Obama, her half-brother, helped her launch Sauti Kuu Foundation in K’Ogelo, Siaya county.
“The reason I built this with the support I have is that I want my community members to start realising they can actually do things for themselves … that they can help themselves and don’t have to constantly be in a situation where they are grateful to others for what they have,” she said.
Auma was criticised online and on other platforms when she used the term handouts last Thursday at a press conference in Nairobi.
She said, however, that she will keep on reminding the world that she doesn’t want her community to be one of beggars.
“I don’t want my community to be a begging community. I’m not calling Luos beggars. I’m telling Luos that we need to start taking care of ourselves.
I know it’s not difficult because we can,” she said to applause by a crowd of at least 1,000 local and international guests.