The untold truth of Malik Obama

A life in the spotlight isn't easy and neither is a life in politics. Combine the two and you've got a unique struggle that the Obama family had to face for nearly a decade. Leading up to Barack Obama's historic election, through his tenure as president, and even after his family moved out of the White House, the critics were merciless. But it wasn't just the political opposition firing off at Barack. One of his most avid opponents was actually a member of his own family: his half-brother, Abon'go Malik Obama.

If you haven't heard of Malik before, he's Barack's older half-brother. They share a father, the original Barack Obama. The latter left Nairobi, Kenya when Malik was just a one-year-old in order to study at the University of Hawaii. While there, he met Stanley Ann Dunham and fathered Barack before eventually returning to his native Kenya.

While Malik didn't harbor any jealousy or ill-will towards his younger brother at first, that sure seemed to change over the years. To the point where Malik's behavior has been the subject of numerous headlines, both in the US and in Kenya. Here's the untold truth of Malik Obama.

Malik and Barack Obama used to be extremely close

When GQ visited Abon'go Malik Obama in his native Kenya in 2013, Barack Obama's half-brother wasted no time telling the outlet that he considers himself to be much more than that. Despite admitting that they only speak once a year, Malik slammed, "Everyone's referring to us as half, quarter... step, things like that [...] but this is a streak of ignorance. Here in Africa we don't think of each other as 'half' this or that," he proclaimed. "In an extended family, someone is your brother even if he is just in your clan. So I... am Obama."

He is indeed an Obama and, according to Malik, he and the former president actually used to be extremely close. Malik worked in the United States for 14 years, on and off, during which time the siblings apparently had a much stronger bond. So strong, in fact, that they were even best men at each other's weddings. "Of course we're close!" Malik told GQ, revealing, "I'm the one who brought [Barack] here to Kogelo [Kenya] in 1988! I thought it was important for him to come home and see from whence his family came — you know, his roots." 

An attempt to follow in his brother's footsteps failed for Malik Obama

While in the States, Malik worked as an accountant for Lockheed, Fannie Mae, and the American Red Cross before deciding to return to his native Kenya. His inspiration? Barack Obama. As Malik told GQ in 2013, he wanted to return to Kenya and run for office because, "if my brother could be elected president of the United States, why can't I do something for my people? Or for mankind?"

According to the outlet, at the time of the interview, Malik was running for governor of Siaya, a little-known town in southwestern Kenya, but despite his catchy slogan "Obama Here, Obama There" he never stood a chance. For starters, he was on the ballot "as an independent person," not even a member of the Independent party. What's more, he was considered an outsider, having returned home only five years prior. As one local told GQ, "You can't just come in here from somewhere else and say you should get something!" When all was said and done, Malik received just under 3,000 votes, which amounted to about 1%. 

In trying to explain his defeat, Malik turned on his famous brother. "It's not a priority to talk to him anytime soon," he told the mag. "The whole campaign, he didn't give me a call." The aspiring politician went on to justify, "There were no similarities between my brother's campaign and mine. I ran as an independent on meager resources. He had a war chest." 

Malik Obama started a foundation that really upset his brother

When you hear of the Barack H. Obama Foundation, it's easy to assume that the non-profit charity is somehow affiliated with former President Barack Obama. However, that's not the case, as it was actually started by Malik Obama in 2008, and, as he has repeatedly assured, was named after their father. However, given its moniker and how similar it is to Barack's own Obama Foundation, it has played a major role in the brothers' rift.

As Malik told The Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo in 2019, his falling out with Barack was sparked by the charity's creation. Apparently, when Malik approached his brother with the idea, Barack was worried about the confusion it might create. "[Barack] told me if I don't shut it down, he's going to cut me off," Malik claimed.

Meanwhile, he told St. George News, "I have no reservations in setting up a foundation in memory of my father. I know there may be some confusion between this organization and the Obama organization in Chicago, but I would like to remind everybody there is Obama, our father, and there is Obama II," he justified, adding, "I think each and every one one of us must follow their dream and my dream is to carry on my father's dreams, and that's why this organization was set up."

The Barack H. Obama Foundation raised major red flags

If you've never heard of the Barack H. Obama Foundation, you're not the only one. According to its website, the charity's mission is: "To provide people everywhere with resources to uplift their welfare and living standards." It sounds like a worthy cause but, as the New York Post reported in 2011 [via HuffPost], there were considerable questions surrounding the legitimacy of that statement. Not only was proof of the foundation's accomplishments hard to find, but financial documents were unavailable, which caused the National Legal and Policy Center to ask the IRS for an investigation.

Closer inspection revealed that the Barack H. Obama Foundation, which had been "[collecting] donations in both Kenya and Virginia," was never registered as a non-profit and, therefore, it did not hold tax-exempt status and the right to collect cash in the United States.

The situation only became shadier when the foundation hastily applied for tax-exempt status and, according to the Daily Caller, received its desired 501(c) organization status, as well as retroactive tax exemption (dating all the way back to 2008), in just one month. The outlet dubbed this "an unprecedented timeline" and heavily implied that the organizations application received preferential treatment.

Did Barack Obama turn his back on Malik Obama?

In 2019, Malik Obama told The Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo that as Barack began climbing the political ranks, starting with his appointment as a Senator for Illinois, he slowly changed and turned his back on his family.  "He also talks about 'My brother's keeper' [...] his own brother is struggling in the slums," Malik said, adding, "His own aunt [...] is struggling in Boston. ... Is that really something you can sincerely say he is for real on those issues?"

Malik even went as far as to blame Barack for the passing of two of his children who died in Kenya while waiting for approval to move to the US. According to Malik, he had asked his brother for help and was told to follow standard procedure and go directly to the US Embassy in Kenya. "I said, I can't just walk in there and say I'm the President's brother and I want you to do this for me," he recalled. "I'm not that kind of person. If there's a way, a legal way as the president ... I don't want anything illegally done, but if you could, maybe you could help me out."

"What really breaks my heart is that my two eldest children died in 2013 and 2014," he continued. "I had their papers in, but I couldn't get them over here. And so my children died and not even a word of condolence. Nothing."

Malik Obama wants to Make America Great Again

Given Malik and Barack Obama's tense history, it's really no surprise that the brothers disagree about yet another aspect of their lives: politics. Malik is an avid Trump supporter and, as he once told The Post, "I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart. Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him." He got his chance when the future president invited him to attend the final presidential debate in 2016, saying, "I look very much forward to meeting and being with Malik. He gets it far better than his brother."

Explaining his love of Trump to The Post, Malik criticized his brother for orchestrating the death of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy (whom he called one of his best friends). "I still feel that getting rid of Khadafy didn't make things any better in Libya," he argued. "My brother and the secretary of state disappointed me in that regard." Trump's conservative values also speak to Malik. "I feel like a Republican now because they don't stand for same-sex marriage, and that appeals to me," he noted. Interestingly enough, Malik is a polygamist (which is common in Kenya) and has between three and 12 wives, according to GQ

And if you think Malik's feelings might have lessened over the years, think again. In June 2019, he announced (via Twitter) that he'd be voting for Trump again in 2020.

Kenyan media dubbed Malik Obama 'a national embarrassment'

Malik Obama doesn't have much support in the United States and, unfortunately for him, his reception isn't any warmer in his native Kenya. In 2017, Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo went to town on Malik in the local Kenyan newspaper The Daily Nation with an op-ed piece which he simply titled, "Malik Obama is a national embarrassment."

Highlighting Malik's apparent jealousy of his famous brother and pointing out a number of questionable incidents, including Malik's decision to circulate a fake birth certificate that showed Barack as being born in Kenya, he slammed, "First of all, Malik, you're a joke and everyone knows that." Madowo added that "Malik's sense of self-entitlement is shocking for a man of his age," and argued that his is not a unique opinion. Rather, he claimed that "even Malik's villagers are angry with him." As Kogello community spokesman Nicholas Rajula explained, "[Malik's] behavior is not strange to us, the villagers. He is suffering from 'Big Brother Syndrome' and thinks that the fame the former president enjoys should be his," he added.

In fact, even Malik's half-sister, Auma Obama, felt the need to speak out against him, tweeting, "WHOLE of REAL Kenyan Obama family strongly distances itself." Ouch.

Malik Obama keeps attacking Barack, but wants to reconcile

Years have passed since the Obamas left the White House, but Malik Obama's grudge appears to be as strong as ever. In fact, when TMZ reported that Barack and Michelle Obama were looking to purchase a massive 29-acre property for a cool $14,850,000, Malik couldn't hold his tongue.

While Barack and Michelle were working to secure the luxurious seven-bedroom property in August 2019, using their impressive net worth which they worked hard for, Malik took to Twitter to voice his disapproval, writing, "A rising tide lifts all boats but not in @BarackObama's case. Buys a $15 million home and tells me to my face that he's broke. Slick as s*** folks." Unfortunately for Malik, Barack was completely indifferent to his taunts as he and Michelle closed on the property in December 2019 for $11.75 million.

Making their (one-sided) feud all the more strange is the fact that despite all of his negative comments, Malik maintains he wants to nurture their brotherly bond. As he told The Hidden Truth Show with Jim Breslo, "I don't hate my brother. I love him. If we could get to reconcile, I would love to reconcile with him. I am just speaking from my heart."