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Barack Obama dances with his grandmother on Kenya trip

17 Juillet 2018

Former US president Barack Obama speaks at the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium.

The late Nelson Mandela has given us three key lessons, former United States president Barack Obama said. "It's beyond the pale that the president would do that".

"We are here to welcome our brother Barack Obama, but we have several challenges because we are not able to see our son", said Boniface Rachula, a farmer from Kogelo who was turned away from the event.

"This is absurd that we listen to Republicans convey this foolishness", Blake said.

Obama's critiques of Trump and his party are likely to grow more frequent this fall, when the former president is expected to campaign actively for Democratic House and Senate candidates.

Obama also highlighted the ongoing debate over immigration, again without naming Mr. Trump, saying that existing laws need to be enforced and followed but all "while respecting humanity".

Watch above, via Fox News.

The visit is Obama's first to Africa since leaving office in early 2017.

Obama said there were far-right parties in the West that have platforms of protectionism and closed borders but also a "barely hidden racial nationalism".

These days "we see much of the world threatening to return to a more risky, more brutal, way of doing business", Obama said, adding that politicians pushing the "politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment" are on the move "at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago".

Obama did call out several areas of disagreement with Trump, though only indirectly, defending the free press, criticizing misinformation and the spread of conspiracy theories via the internet, and slamming a culture of lying among politicians.

"You have to believe in facts".

"It is a singular honour for me to be here. gathered to celebrate the birth and life of one of history's true giants", Obama said on taking the podium. "Mandela said young people are capable when aroused of bringing down the towers of oppression and raising the banners of freedom".

Obama has kept a relatively low profile since leaving office a year ago, but has occasionally publicly criticized Trump and his policies, including the since-ended policy of separating immigrant families at the border and the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

"We need more hope because we are living in hard times", Nomsa Nkosi, 45, a blind woman in the audience, told AFP.

"Things may go backwards for a while, but ultimately, right makes might", Obama said.

Instead of commenting on politics, Obama's speech was drawing on broader themes and his admiration for Mandela, whom America's first black president saw as a mentor.

Barack Obama dances with his grandmother on Kenya trip