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Behind the Scenes: Meet George Obama

  • Story Highlights
  • Barack Obama and George Obama share a father, the late Barack Obama Sr.
  • George Obama denies media reports that he's living on a dollar a day
  • "I think I wanted to learn about my father the same way he did," George says
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By David McKenzie
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In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences in covering news and analyze the stories behind the events.

HURUMA, Kenya (CNN) -- We found Barack Obama's half-brother living in a Nairobi slum.

George Obama says he is sure his half-brother will win the U.S. presidency in November.

George Obama says he is sure his half-brother will win the U.S. presidency in November.

George Obama, whose birth certificate shows that he is Barack Obama's half-brother, lives in a small house in Huruma that he shares with his mother's extended family, far away from the presidential campaign circus.

In his memoir, "Dreams for my Father," the Democratic presidential candidate describes meeting George as a "painful affair." Barack Obama's trip to Kenya meant meeting family he had never known.

In the book, which is popular in Nairobi and can be found in almost any supermarket, Obama looks back at his personal story and his struggles to reconcile with a Kenyan father who left him and his mother when he was just a child.

Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was just 6 months old. And like his half-brother, George hardly knew his father. George was his father's last child and had not been aware of his famous half-brother.

"I think I wanted to learn about my father the same way he did," George Obama told me about why he read the book. "He came here searching for his roots, and I was also trying to find my roots." Watch George Obama talk about meeting his half-brother for the first time Video

Unlike his grandmother in Kogela, in Western Kenya, George Obama had received little attention from the media.

But reports surfaced in the past few days, springing from an Italian Vanity Fair article saying George Obama is living in a shack and "earning less than a dollar a day."

The reports left him angry.

"I was brought up well. I live well even now," he said. "The magazines, they have exaggerated everything.

"I think I kind of like it here. There are some challenges, but maybe it is just like where you come from, there are the same challenges," Obama said.

Obama, who is in his mid-20s, is learning to become a mechanic and is active in youth groups in Huruma. He said he tries to help the community as much as he can.

At least one of his neighbors feels that perhaps the candidate should help the brother.

"I would like Obama to visit his brother to see how he is living, to improve his way of life," said Emelda Negei, who runs a small dispensary near Obama's house.


But George Obama will have none of it. He draws inspiration from his famous half-brother. He acknowledges that he is biased but said he knows that his half-brother will be the next president.

"Because he wants to be [president]," he said. "I think in life, what you want is what you are supposed to get."

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