Obama: I’m the First ‘Kenyan-American’ President of the United States

President Obama
President Obama / AP

President Obama during remarks in his father’s home country of Kenya over the weekend dubbed himself "the first Kenyan-American" President of the United States. 

According to CNN, Obama delivered a speech at a gymnasium in Nairobi, Kenya, to 5,000 attendees during which he recalled his family’s hardships and emphasized that individuals across the global are connected in "the human tribe."

"I’m the first Kenyan-American to be president of the United States," Obama told his audience. "That goes without saying."

Obama recalled his family’s hardships in Kenya, mentioning his grandfather, who worked as a cook with the British military.

"What these stories also tell us is about the arc of progress," Obama said. "We have to know our history so that we learn from it."

He later stressed that the Kenyans in his audience were "poised to play a bigger role in this world," saying, "we are all a part of one tribe, the human tribe."

Obama also promised Kenya that the United States would continue to partner with the country’s government in order to battle the terrorist group al Shabaab, members of which have launched multiple attacks in the country, the latest killing 147 individuals at Garissa University in northern Kenya.

"We will stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this fight against terrorism–for as long as it takes," Obama said. 

Obama’s half-sister Auma Obama introduced him to the crowd Sunday. "He gets us," she said. "He’s one of us."

The president’s half-brother also attended the event, calling Obama’s trip an "important step" in uniting the world with a "true sense of brotherhood."

Obama, who skipped out on a visit to his father’s village of Kogelo, also attended a state dinner Saturday night hosted by Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta during which he cracked a joke about past controversy surrounding his birth certificate. 

"I suspect that some of my critics back home are suspecting that I’m back here to look for my birth certificate," the president chuckled. "That's not the case."

Despite lighthearted moments of his trip, Obama did adopt a serious tone Sunday when criticizing the oppression of women in the country, comparing those engaging in the "tradition" of treating women poorly in Kenya to those who support the Confederate flag in the U.S. 

"Just because something is a tradition doesn’t mean it's right," he told the audience.