Obama or Bongo Ondimba: Who’s Disinheriting Whom?

The future ex-president of the United States will not be counting on his Kenyan inheritance for his retirement, as part of his paternal family intends to deprive him of it due to a lack of solidarity. Ali Bongo Ondimba, however, has decided to disinherit himself…

The first African-American president’s stay in the Oval Office is almost up. It is just one year before the end of his mandate, and we have already only been talking about his potential successors, given the never-ending U.S. electoral campaigns. Soon to be a “has-been,” Barack Obama can now begin to pack his bags, but where would he be heading? After his furtive visit to the land of his paternal ancestors in July, will he be tempted to “return to his native land?” It is uncertain whether his father’s family will welcome him with open arms…

A few weeks ago, the Kenyan press learned that members of Obama’s family have decided to disinherit Barack, the ungrateful child. According to some African family relations, his relative indifference toward Africa — particularly for his father’s homeland — would have been a less bitter pill to swallow if he did not use his Kenyan heritage as a “powerful element” in his first presidential campaign. At that time, he took pleasure in presenting himself as “a candidate who connect[s] different worlds.”

Barack Obama Disowned by Part of His Kenyan Family

While he may have indeed crowned his electoral operations with “political opportunism” by inviting some of his African family to his first inauguration, he had too quickly neglected his roots, remaining insensitive to the problems of his Kenyan relatives. The height of his disownment came in 2014 when the American president preferred to take part in a round of golf rather than be present for the burial of his aunt Zeituni Obama, who died in Boston. Shocked by this flagrant lack of family values, Barack’s half-brother, Malick, even tried to explain this indifference with a dark family secret. Could Barack Jr. really not be the son of Barack Sr. but of a poet named “Frank” to whom Obama makes reference in his Hawaiian memoirs?

While awaiting the improbable DNA tests to verify this improbable theory, the aggrieved part of the Kenyan family have “disowned” Barack Obama. He should no longer be counting on getting a cold, hard inheritance. Should he be contrite when he himself set fundraising records during his electoral campaigns? Should he be appalled at a time when depriving one’s descendants of their inheritance is a trend in the United States?

Disinheritance: A Favor?

Although the French civil code currently forbids the disinheritance of one’s child, the trend is completely different among the wealthiest Anglo-Saxons. The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates; former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg; the founder of eBay, Pierre Omidyar; media mogul Ted Turner; director George Lucas; musician Sting and even actor Jackie Chan have considered it to be a handicap to leave their wealth to their offspring. Most of their respective inheritances — 90 percent on average — should instead go to charity. Investor Warren Buffet explains that he wants to leave his children with “just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.” Getting everything would make the need for earning useless, and thus, disinheritance would be a favor.

It is uncertain whether this philosophy shared by rich Westerners would make a splash in Africa, where inheritance makes mouths water to the point that a number of so-called “brouteurs” (Ivorian slag for “cyber criminals”) have turned it into the theatrical backbone of their scams. However, Gabon’s president, who succeeded his father, has made the first move. During his latest address to the nation, Ali Bongo Ondimba announced that, in agreement with his children, he would give his share of inheritance to a foundation for education…

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