Obama Mystery Theater: Ruth Nidesand

Rift Valley, near Nairobi Kenya; Library of Congress

© Miri WTPOTUS November 21, 2011

For at least three years, the second third wife of Barack Hussein Obama Senior (BHO Sr.) was said to be Ruth Nidesand.  For all those years, people questioned how it might be that her maiden name was so similar to the surname of her second husband, Simeon Ndesandjo.  Her maiden name was reported as Nidesand everywhere until Sally Jacobs published her biography of Ruth’s first husband, BHO Sr.  After that book was published, for the first time the world learned her true name: Ruth Beatrice Baker.
Here’s what Wikipedia currently says about Ruth Beatrice Baker, the stepmother of Barack Hussein Obama II:
Ruth Ndesandjo: Born Ruth Beatrice Baker, in US c. 1937, to Maurice Joseph Baker and Ida Baker of Newton, Massachusetts. Ruth was a 1954 graduate of Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts, and a 1958 graduate of Simmons College in Boston with a degree in business. Ruth was a suburban elementary school teacher when she met and began dating Barack Sr. in Cambridge in June 1964, a month before Barack Sr.’s return to Kenya in August 1964. Ruth followed Obama Sr. back to Kenya five weeks later, and married him in Kenya in a civil ceremony on December 24, 1964. She later became a private kindergarten director in Kenya. Ruth’s two sons with Barack Obama, Sr., are Mark and David Ndesandjo; her third son, Joseph Ndesandjo, was born c. 1980 from a subsequent marriage.

Recently, some new photos of Ruth Beatrice Baker came to light. The photo below is of Ruth’s freshman class at Brookline High School, 1951. Ruth is in the second row, sixth from the left.

Cropped from the above photo; click to enlarge and read the caption:

A closeup of Ruth Baker from the above photo:
Ruth Baker’s graduation photo from Simmons College, 1958:

Ruth in recent times:

Another Obama lived in Newton, Massachusetts: Onyango Obama (a.k.a. Uncle Omar Okech Obama), the brother-in-law of Ruth Baker. Omar attended high school there, in 1963/64, after his brother Barack and Ruth moved to Kenya.

Why was the public misled about Ruth’s identity?  Why would Ruth, like her son Mark, never give out her correct age? 

There remain many mysteries involving Ruth.  We’ve only just learned the identity of her second husband, Simeon Ndesandjo.  Sally Jacobs doesn’t seem to mention him much, although he was a good friend of Barack H. Obama Senior; and Simeon, like BHO Sr., was appointed to positions in the newly-established Kenyan government, in the 1960s. 

Why has the media been so incurious about the Obama family and its many connections?

Open Thread.

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326 responses to “Obama Mystery Theater: Ruth Nidesand

  1. Do we have this article? http://www.mwakilishi.com/content/articles/2012/06/12/mark-okoth-obama-ndesandjo-us-president-barack-obamas-half-brother.html Wow, he has alot of names.

    Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo – U.S. President Barack Obama’s Half Brother Born in Kenya
    By Mwakilishi | Tue, 06/12/2012 08:29PM -0400
    Printer-friendly versionPDF version
    Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo – U.S. President Barack Obama’s father half-brother

    Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, an accomplished pianist, writer, artist, businessman, and humanitarian, is half brother to U.S. President Barack Obama. He was born in Kenya to Barack Obama Sr and his third wife, Ruth Ndesandjo, an American elementary school teacher.

    He lives an international lifestyle independent of his president-brother through extensive charity work in China, where he has lived in the last seven years. He has been appointed Volunteer Image Ambassador and Special Olympics Image Ambassador by China in 2007.

    An American citizen, Ndesandjo has a BSc. degree in Physics from Brown University, an MSc degree in Physics from Stanford and is an Emory EMBA graduate. He has consulted worldwide, with over 15 years of telecommunications and international marketing and branding experience gained as a senior manager at Lucent, Nortel and other companies.

    He released his first novel titled Nairobi to Shenzhen in 2011, in which he describes his difficult early life growing up in Kenya dues to his his father’s alcoholism and physical abuse of his wife [Ndesandjo's mother] and children. Due to this difficult upbringing and experience, he says he had decided to sever all ties with his father and native country of Kenya, including dropping the Obama name. Barack, whom he has only met a few times, convinced him not to forsake his heritage. Eventually he came to embrace his country of birth and added ‘Obama’ back to his name.

    • I don’t remember seeing that one before. Good find.

    • Put Richard with one of Mark’s names and one lives in TX. http://www.whitepages.com/name/Richard-O-Okoth/Grand-Prairie-TX/3uut7tj
      Richard O Okoth
      3536 Ponderosa Dr
      Grand Prairie, TX 75052-7857
      Age: 55-59

      • Get Address and Phone Number via Premium Public Records Richar…
        Grand Prairie TX
        Spokeo: Richard O Okoth
        male, Late 50’s, Ponderosa Dr, Grand Prairie (75052), Texas, US
        Get Address and Phone Number via Premium Public Records Richar…
        Arlington TX
        Get Address and Phone Number via Premium Public Records Richar…
        Arlington TX
        Spokeo: Richard Okoth
        male, Ponderosa Dr, Dallas (75242), Texas, US
        Spokeo: Richard O Okoth
        male, Late 50’s, Chatham Green Ln, Unit 621, Arlington (76014), Texas, US
        Intelius: Richard Otieno Okoth (Age: 57)
        75050 Grand Prairie TX r****c@___.com, r****c@___.net (972) 660-XXXX, (972) 647-XXXX, (817) 419-XXXX, (817) 784-XXXX, (972) 333-XXXX
        The Law Society of Kenya
        Name, Odenyo Richard Okoth. P105 Number, P.105/2743/94. Status, Inactive. Work Place, ODENYA & COMPANY. Physical Address, ASPEE BUILDING MAIN STREET …
        Kenyacarbazaar.com Online Car Sales | 1998 – Toyota G…
        E-mail Address: richard.okoth@yahoo.com. Mobile Number: 722334561. Telephone No: Website Address: Fax Number: Postal Address: 48070 00100 Nairobi …

    • It’s dated June 12 of this year. There doesn’t seem to be any point to the article, or the “news” contained isn’t clear. His novel, a semi-autobiography or fiction with lots of his life and family story worked in, was announced via the press a few months ago, at least. Maybe it’s about the name change.

      Where did “Okoth” come from? That one’s new to me. And I’m very surprised about his adopting his father’s name…or un-dropping it. He justifiably hates the memory of the man and dropping the name was his way of dropping DaddyDrunknMean. Maybe it’s because he’s no longer working his international marketing jog in China and needs something to generate income (volunteer work doesn’t pay well, ya; know, except in personal satisfaction and good PR). If so, I’m disappointed; I thought Mark might be the one decent human being out of the whole sorry bunch. :(

      PS: Hello, ladies of WPOTUS…and happy Independence Day.

      • He’s always had that name Okoth. I forgot what it means in Luo. Something about it was raining when he was born? Anybody remember? And Auma means she was born facing downward. Maybe the point of the story was to put in that crap about Barry convincing him to honor/value his roots and his father and Kenya. The thing is, it probably didn’t happen. That conversation in Dreams (that WAS a dream). Seems that Mark even once said as much. Maybe now that Maraniss’s book is out and people are pointing to all the fabrications in Dreams, Mark feels driven to help out his “bro” a little. I truly think George might be the decent one.

        Happy 4th to you, too!

        • I found something today that MAY be of interest (?) Again, I’m always concerned I’m adding “old news” because even though I try to stay up with everything the information comes so fast and furious here :) No pun intended.

          So, I’ve been researching Richard Ndesandjo, the illusive Ruth B.B.Nidesand Ndesandjo son. If it is the same one, he does indeed seem to be currently playing tennis in Kenya, althought the International Tennis Federation lists Joseph, but not him, as a member.
          General searches of his name (once I sort out ALL of the wtpotus posts that come up) show him as a 1998 Cornell Grad on Classmates.com but no real information. I tried searching the Cornell website w/o any luck.

          I did however just find both he and Joseph listed in the Unclaimed Texas Properties lists at the State of Texas treasuries site. Joseph has only entry, but Richard has several between 1998 and 2002, when it appears he was attending Rice University in Houston (most of the funds he has unclaimed are from Rice, one is from a bank) They list his last known addresses as either the Rice U address (6100 S. Main Houston) a P.O. Box in Nairobi, or 6350 S. Main (probably another campus address or an apartment nearby maybe?)
          Is any of this familiar to anyone?

          • What’s familiar is that we talked about Richard and that I remember seeing at least one news story that did say that Ruth had more than one child with Ndesandjo. That would be a child besides Joseph. However, one wonders if both are adopted because Ruth was born in 1937 and Joseph in 1979. That would make her 42 at a time when it was unusual for 40-something women to have children. If Richard is also her son, then he certainly is too young to be her biological son.

          • Upstream just a bit, yesterday, this was posted. But then the site at TX unclaimed was down for maintenance. Did you happen to get a screenshot?

          • Richard Ndesandjo IS one of Ruth’s sons! I just found the below article after looking into SOE’s and What A hoot’s finds above, good find’s btw!

            Catching them young the Madari way

            Mrs Ruth Ndesandjo started her career as a pre-school teacher in a public school, but she left and started Madari Kindergarten because she wanted to be more in touch with children.

            We do not pressure children for academic results. These are babies and we pay attention to what the child wants and not what adults want

            Education for a child is the sense of curiosity and keeping an open mind for them is the way to go and not passing exams as many would want to believe.

            By Mary Mweni; Photographs by Michael Mute; Photographic Assistant: Kavee M’Mbogori

            When it comes to children, Mrs Ruth Ndesandjo is as protective as a lioness. But when with the little ones, she is as gentle as a dove. Her love for children made her take up a teachers’ training course, even after attaining a Bachelor of Science degree and practising as a nurse in the United States of America. Mrs Ndesandjo started her career as a pre-school teacher in Kenya 30 years ago. But after teaching in a public
            school set-up for a year, she was unhappy. “There was still a void within me that was not being filled by the teaching system that was followed. I wanted to be more in touch with children, a situation which was limited in a normal teaching schedule,” she says.

            It was after much consultation with her husband that Madari Kindergarten was born. “Life has never been the same since then. I am very happy to spend time with children. To see children grow in confidence brings the greatest joy to a parent.”

            Snip –

            Already a grandmother, she does not plan to retire any time soon, but she believes that when her time to run Madari ends, somebody else more capable would take over and continue upholding the standards she has set.

            Madari is derived from the first two letters of each of her three sons’ names: Mark, David and Richard. It promotes social and physical development for its pupils. Some of the integrated lessons that are hardly available at an average kindergarten are music, computer, art, tae-kwon-do and mini-tennis. The kindergarten has numerous indoor games, toys and a large sanded playing area in its expansive compound. Horse-riding and various outings are some of the various amusements provided as well.

            Likening the free primary education system in Kenya to the USA’s NCLB (No Child Left Behind) which was proposed by President George W Bush, Mrs Ndesandjo says we can do better than cramming children in one small room or letting them learn under trees.


            Archived –


          • We had conversations about Richard on several other threads. I found these, starting here: http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/obama%e2%80%99s-huge-fabricated-family-2/comment-page-2/#comment-31508
            Then again here: http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/the-obama-family-saga-continues/comment-page-6/#comment-60547
            Then here: http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/meet-malik-obamas-oldest-brother/comment-page-1/#comment-63658
            You may have to search for “Richard” on the pages. Apparently, she named her kindergarten, Madari, after the three kids: MArk, DAvid, RIchard. But where’s Joseph?

            • Don’t forget to search forward for more about Richard on the next page of comments. Those are long threads, especially the first one.

          • We had conversations about Richard on several other threads. I found these, starting here
            Thank you for posting the past research links Miri, a good refresher for us all. Ali I believe was the one that first came across Richard Ndesandjo way back. I miss Ali, MUCH! the fun we used too have researching together, she’d could always make me laugh out loud with her humor. Miss you Ali :-(

          • I miss Ali too. Remember the problems she was having with her cat? I laughed so hard at that one. Hope your well Ali.

          • this is Wickipedia’s take on Ruth: Ruth Ndesandjo
            Born Ruth Beatrice Baker, in US c. 1937, to Maurice Joseph Baker and Ida Baker of Newton, Massachusetts.[107] Ruth was a 1954 graduate of Brookline High School in Brookline, Massachusetts, and a 1958 graduate of Simmons College in Boston with a degree in business.[107] Ruth was a suburban elementary school teacher when she met and began dating Barack Sr. in Cambridge in June 1964, a month before Barack Sr.’s return to Kenya in August 1964.[107] Ruth followed Obama Sr. back to Kenya five weeks later, and married him in Kenya in a civil ceremony on December 24, 1964.[107] She later became a private kindergarten director in Kenya.[108] Ruth’s two sons with Barack Obama, Sr., are Mark and David Ndesandjo; her third son, Joseph Ndesandjo, was born c. 1980 from a subsequent marriage.
            The stories have never matched and still don’t. This is all hogwash. If you could find Ruth’s first info from Wicki, it has changed considerably, she wasn’t born in 1937, in fact some sites and Vanity Fair listed her born circa 1940-1941. Other sites never gave a date for her birth. Wicki had her as a Harvard grad or a teacher at Harvard, where she met O. Sr.
            You see now Wicki has her getting a degree in bussiness, yet your info says she had a nursing degree(of some sort)in the US. Some stories have her meeting O.Sr. in an infirmary. Preschool in the US didn’t start till 1965 and it was a Head Start program—-not a public school setting and was in very few states, so her first experience teaching was not preschool in Kenya if she taught any in the US. before going to Kenya.
            Richard first appeared at Cornell and not one bit of info started for Richard as Ruth’s son till much later when some had found him as a tennis player. I also later found him at St.? high school in Kenya around the same time I found Jeff Koinange, but actually I only found a blog saying he went there and I looked at every school class photo from the school’s beginning to the present and no photo’s of Richard , Joseph, or Mark were there,and no mention of them being there (only a blog asking about them and a response saying they were there and years they may have graduated (I think it was a ruse).
            Only after the fact that we found Richard does Ruth say she named Madari after Mark, Richard and David. Poor Joseph has been forgotten and he was around 2 or 3 when she supposedly opens the Kindergarten and Joseph would be a child of the man she says left her the place…go figure. By the way Ruth insinuated in her first interview that Madari was left to her by a Tansanian (giving no name) as if he was dead or long gone or divorced.
            Then of course there’s the story she left O. Sr. and went back to US , so when exactly did she get her teacher’s training(Wicki says she already had been a teacher) and then work at a newspaper in Kenya? and again she gives absolutely no pre experience in teaching whatsoever; as a headmaster for her Kindergarten, not even her so called Preschool experience, yet Madari has children from six months and up? The Harvard grad stories began to change when I found that it was hardly likely she was a Harvard grad, but would have most likely been from Radcliff if she got any teacher credentials back then(an argument that went nowhere) but that’s when the story started changing to—she was a teacher at Harvard, then she was just a teacher from somewhere. Sorry folks , something still stinks to high heaven….yeah,only God knows who Ruth is and her real life experiences and how many real children she has and who she really was ever married to. Nothing is real , not even her hair color, which has been several colors since we first met her.

          • By the way, I don’t think Kenya had public preschool back then. Only now is preschool just getting funding in the broader sense. Before, preschool was mostly for ones who could afford to pay and had volunteer teachers. The preschools were almost always community run and were not part of the public system. There were private preschools and community ones and many volunteers and attendance wasn’t like for public school.

          • Afly! YOU originally found that article I linked above and archived back on October 2, 2011 – http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/meet-malik-obamas-oldest-brother/comment-page-1/#comment-63658

            Miri even did a excellent post mentioning it – http://wtpotus.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/spinning-out-a-story-about-simeon-ndesandjo-ruth-obamas-second-husband/

            I’m embarrassed to say when Miri did her post spinning-out-a-story I never clicked on the link to read the article Miri linked to the post that you had found, I did not know it had already been discovered. Sorry about that Alfy. Alf, I think we all agree that so much of what is put out there for us to find is “hogwash” as you say. It is intentional to keep everyone confused, of course we know that. But look how far we have come to finding the truth, we all get a little closer every day. We’ll get there hopefully before the end of his term. I’m glad you back Alfy and feeling better, we missed you mostly, but also your thoughts and research.

          • Kathy July 5, 2012 at 9:51

            o’my gosh, how could I ever forget Ali’s story’s about her cat! LMBO just thinking back on it, too funny she was :-)

          • My God there is no reply left ! Alf, read Leza’s comment. You started discussions on this way back. I looked into that tennis player and a few others. Thinking info may be here. Let me find links.




            The Rainbow family- group Alf remember them ?

  2. WTPOTUS ….need to do this crap job & not a LICK of $$$
    (open blue) half siblings.. & other places are worth the price of admission


  3. The spinning post has ALOT of work in it. Especially note those CBS connections. This post is very important my friends…

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