US President Barack Obama began his long awaited address to the public on Sunday by drawing a stark contrast between his visits to Kenya.
He amused the audience when he said he lost his luggage at the airport on his first trip in 1987, adding; “that does not happen on Air Force One”.
Referring to himself as the “the first Kenyan-American to be President of the United States”, he went on to say the Volkswagen Beetle he rode kept breaking down forcing them to call the “jua kali” for repairs.
He had earlier said said he first visited Kenya in jeans and a back pack.
His half-sister Auma, who invited him to deliver the address, said he had meals including ugali, chapati and omena on his first visit.
Speaking at the indoor arena at Safaricom Stadium Kasarani, Obama said the challenges of the trip paled in comparison to the sense of belonging his family has accorded him.
He mentioned finding letters written by his grandfather and father detailing early life in colonial and post-colonial Kenya.
Obama said his grandfather was avoided by some family members as he was strict at home, but referred to as a boy at work, where he served a British colonial official as a cook.
His father wrote 30 letters to different universities in the United States looking for opportunities to further his studies, he said.
The US President called on Kenyans to learn from their history in order to improve their future.
“We study our past so it can guide us into the future, inspire us to do better,” he said.
The US president is scheduled to speak at the Young African Leaders Initiative centre at Kenyatta University.
The speech will mark the official end of his three-day tour of Kenya after which he will leave the country for Ethiopia.