Africans, Kenyans hail win for "son of the soil"

UNDATED (AP) -- Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. has brought scenes of jubilation to parts of Africa, especially in the western Kenyan village where Obama's late father was born.

Many stayed up all night or woke before dawn to celebrate the American vote. Obama's relatives and other villagers gathered around a TV set up in a garden, rejoicing and pumping their arms in the air.

The president-elect's half-brother Malik was picked up by an exuberant crowd and carried through the village. Obama's step-grandmother and other relatives also poured out of the family homestead to salute the man seen by many Kenyans as a "son of the soil."

Across Africa, many are hoping an Obama presidency will help the vast continent, the poorest in the world. Obama's victory was also likely to seal America's reputation in the minds of many Africans as a land of staggering opportunity.

And in Kenya, the president has declared that tomorrow will be a public holiday in Obama's honor.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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