The decision by former US First Lady Michelle Obama to keep off her husband’s two-day visit to Kenya has stirred online debate, with most Kenyans providing amusing explanations for her no-show.
Adding spice to the discussion is the fact that hours after Mr Obama landed in Kenya on Sunday, his wife was photographed in Paris enjoying a concert whose main performers were Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé, the American music power couple that is on a world tour.
Former USA First lady Michelle Obama was spotted at Beyoncé and Jay Z’s OTR 2 tour in Paris on Saturday evening.
Accompanied by her 19-year-old daughter Sasha, they made an appearance at Stade de France, one of the few times they have been seen in public since becoming private citizens.
Mrs Obama, donning a white outfit that included a pair of shorts ending way above the knees, attended the concert alongside her daughter Sasha.
The mother-daughter duo separated at some point as Michelle joined Beyonce’s mother Tina Knowles at the front of the stage without Sasha.
The two mothers danced as they enjoyed the show from beyond the front row barricades. Michelle has been Beyoncé’s fan for a long time. While still in office, she admitted to being a big Beyoncé fan.
Michelle is known for her love for music and dance through the several times she sang, dropped a beat, joined a dance troupe on stage or goofed around with TV presenter and friend Ellen DeGeneres.
Michelle did not accompany her husband, Barack Obama on his visit to Kenya for the launch of Sauti Kuu Foundation, a project initiated by sister-in-law Auma Obama.
It is believed that Mrs Obama went to Paris from Tanzania, where she had been vacationing with her husband.
Confirmation that Mrs Obama was in Tanzania came from Mr Gerson Msigwa, the Director for Presidential Communication, whose tweet at 2pm on Sunday was directed to the former US first family.
“Thank you former President of USA Barack Obama for visiting and making a long stay of 8 days to our beautiful country Tanzania. We hope you and your family enjoyed your stay in the endless plain of Serengeti. Welcome again and again,” he tweeted, tagging Mr Obama and his wife in the post.
Some Kenyans think it is the all-too-common pressure from in-laws that made Mrs Obama shun Kenya.
“I can now accept that Michelle is a real African wife, reason? They never accompany their husbands to their in-laws! That’s given,” joked John Mutiso on Facebook.
“Wives, why do you detest your in-laws that much?” he wondered.
Sarah had a different opinion in a Facebook comment: “She can’t stand Kenyan issues like the corruption and homophobia, etc.”
Stanley thought it is not a new thing: “At times you leave Nairobi together as a family but because your wife comes from [same area], you drop her [off at] her parents as you proceed to see your folks. She might join you later or you will pick her [up] on your way back to the city. That’s the local version.”
Roselyne joked that logistics versus culture was the real reason: “Obama has no simba (hut) at home… Same reason why Obama was to leave for South Africa immediately.”
“They forgot their marriage certificate, I guess,” joked another Facebook user, in apparent reference to the Sunday drama involving Laikipia Woman Representative Catherine Waruguru who was denied entrance at Sunshine Hotel in Kericho for lacking a marriage certificate.