AFP, December 13, 2009
The half-brother of US President Barack Obama has been made an “image ambassador” for southern China’s booming city of Shenzhen, state press reported Sunday.
Mark Obama Ndesandjo was named image ambassador on Friday by the Shenzhen Youth League for his volunteer work teaching piano to orphans in the city, where he lives, the Beijing News reported.
Since moving to Shenzhen in 2002, Ndesandjo has given lessons once a week to orphans at the Shenzhen Social Welfare Centre, the paper said.
The son of President Obama’s late father and his third wife Ruth Nidesand, Ndesandjo reportedly runs a business consultancy in China.
During Obama’s visit to China last month, the two had a brief, but emotional reunion in Beijing.
“We had a big hug. And my wife and he had a big, big hug. He was very powerful, very intense, because he’s my big brother,” Ndesandjo said in an interview at the time with CNN.
The two half-brothers did not know each other while growing up, but have met from time to time as adults, and always manage to re-forge their bond, Ndesandjo said.
Ndesandjo revealed in a semi-autobiographical book that he was often physically abused by his father, Barack Obama Sr–a revelation President Obama said was not entirely surprising.
“I haven’t read the book. But it’s no secret that my father was a troubled person,” Obama told CNN.