August 23, 2008 12:34am
Obama's half-brother found in Kenyan shantytown
He lives on less than a dollar a month
He says he is ashamed of his life
US presidential contender Barack Obama's African half-brother says he is "ashamed" of his family ties because he lives as an impoverished recluse in a Kenyan shantytown.
The Italian edition of Vanity Fair says it tracked down George Hussein Onyango Obama living in poverty in a rundown shack in the violent town of Huruma on the outskirts of Nairobi.
George Obama, 26, is the youngest of the presidential candidate's seven half-brothers and half-sisters.
He told the magazine: "No one knows who I am."
He said he was embarrassed that he lived "on less than a dollar a month" and never mentioned his world-famous half-brother.
"If anyone says something about my surname, I say we are not related. I am ashamed," he told the magazine. "I live like a recluse. No one knows I exist."
The New York Post said the magazine had reported that George Obama's 2m by 3m shack was decorated with football posters, a calendar of exotic beaches and a front page newspaper photograph of the Democratic US presidential nominee.
Senator Obama, 47, and George Obama share the same Kenyan father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior.
Senator Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, was from Kansas and met Mr Obama Snr at university in Hawaii. She was his second wife.
George Obama said he had met his presidential candidate half-brother only twice, once when he was five years old and then in 2006 when Senator Obama was touring Africa.
In his autobiography, Senator Obama described his half-brother as a "beautiful boy with a rounded head".
"I took comfort in the fact that perhaps one day, when he was older, George might want to know who his father had been and who his brothers and sisters were. And if he ever came to me, I would be there for him, to tell him the story I knew," he wrote.
George Obama told Vanity Fair he had been homeless for 10 years, and his home now in Huruma was a "tough place".
"I've seen two of my friends killed," he said. "I have scars from defending myself with my fists. I am good with my fists."
The New York Post reported that other members of Senator Obama's extended family have remained close. He and half-brother Malik, a Kenyan accountant, were the best man at each other's weddings.
In his autobiography, Senator Obama said he was a young adult when he learned of George from his half-sister Auma.
His campaign did not comment on the Vanity Fair article.