With Dennis Rodman back in the news for his exercise in basketball diplomacy in North Korea, it`s worth mentioning Dennis`s dad, Philander Rodman Jr., who is the father of between 29 and 47 children, according to various published reports and what kind of mood Philander Jr. is in when reporters visit his Rodman`s Rainbow Obamaburger in the Philippines.
No word yet on Philander Rodman Sr.
Also in the news is Barack Obama, whose favorite half-brother and Best Man at his wedding Roy Abong`o Malik Obama is running for governor of Siaya County in Kenya. According to the always informative Daily Mail, Roy-Abong`o Malik has had approximately 12 wives.
Indeed, female members of his extended family accuse him of being a wife-beater and philanderer, who seduced the newest of his estimated 12 wives while she was a 17-year-old schoolgirl — a crime in a country where the legal age of consent is 18.
As opposed to the United States in November 1960.
To the dismay of teachers and the girl’s mother, Mary, Obama had secret trysts with the girl after spotting her attending prayers at the mosque he has built in Kogelo — he and his brother’s ancestral home — as part of his promotion of the Islamic faith across the country.
Now in hiding at her mother’s mud house, down a rutted track, Sheila Anyango, 35 years younger than her husband, told me this week that marrying him was the ‘worst decision’ of her life — and confirmed that they had ‘kept a secret’ since she was 17.
Shy and softly-spoken, Sheila, 20, says: ‘At first he was good, after he started speaking to me at the mosque. But he has changed. Marrying him has been the biggest mistake of my life. He beats me, but mostly he’s just nasty and quarrelsome.’ …
Dreams from My Father, indeed.
Sheila, who has an 18-month-old daughter by Obama called Hafifa, had spent the past two years living with three of Malik’s other wives at the ‘Barack H Obama Foundation rest and relaxation centre’ — a restaurant complex built by her husband to profit from the visitors attracted to the area by his links to his brother.
Nor is Sheila the only one of Malik’s wives to accuse him of beating her.
Hafsa Abwanda, now 33, also married the politician as a teenager, but escaped in 2008 after five years of marriage, saying he beat her and her ‘co-wives’, of whom she says she saw at least 12 come and go over the years.
Before Hafsa fled her miserable marriage to live with relatives, she had a son with Malik, who she took with her when she left. ‘He is a bad man and I don’t want to ever see him again,’ she says.
With Islam allowing only four wives, former wives and friends say Malik flouts this rule by ‘rotating’ his spouses out to other properties so he lives with only the maximum number at any one time.
Fabulously rich by Kenyan standards, Malik is nevertheless careful with his money. …
A former headmaster at the local school in Kogelo, Mr Ogombe knew Malik as a boy, and met Barack on his first visit to his homeland in 1987, when the future U.S. President spent his days in a simple room at his family home, and developed a taste for local home-brewed beers.
‘Barack was a nice boy,’ he says. ‘He wasn’t used to the heat here, so he spent a lot of time inside resting, but he loved our beers and was very friendly to everyone. Malik and he got along well — but that was when both were nobodies.’ …
He took a degree in accounting in Nairobi, studied at a madrassa — an Islamic school where students memorise the Koran — and became a committed Muslim. He moved to Washington DC in the Eighties and opened an electronics shop there, though he now divides his time between Kenya and America.
He is also a regular traveller to Saudi Arabia, where he has taken part in pilgrimages to Mecca. He now spends his time fund-raising for the Barack H Obama Foundation, a body he set up to capitalise on his brother’s election for the ‘good of Kogelo’.
But there have been questions about where the money has gone from his ‘charity work’, with a probe launched over cash owed to the U.S. taxpayer from his fund-raising activities. Famously, Malik’s conversion to Islam has been saluted by Barack, whose remaining family in Kogelo are all Muslims.
He asked Malik to be best man at his 1992 wedding to Michelle. In his book Dreams From My Father, the American President wrote: ‘The person who made me proudest was Roy [Malik]. He converted to Islam, and has sworn off pork and tobacco and alcohol.
‘[His] new lifestyle has left him lean and clear-eyed, and at the wedding, he looked so dignified in his black African gown with white trim and matching cap, that some of our guests mistook him for my father.’
Roy changing his name to Abongo is the happy ending to Dreams from My Father:
The person who made me proudest of all was Roy. Actually, now we call him Abongo, his Luo name, for two years ago he decided to reassert his African heritage. … Abongo lifted up his glass of fruit juice for a toast.
“To those who are not here with us,” he said.
“And to a happy ending,” I said.
We dribbled our drinks onto the checkered-tile floor. And for that moment, at least, I felt like the luckiest man alive.
And lastly in the news about celebrities and their philoprogenitive relations, Ann Romney said she cried when Mitt lost.