World away from brother Barack
It was hard to tell whether George Hussein Obama – brother of the most powerful man on the planet – was reclusive, untrusting or simply exhausted from answering the same questions over and over again.
I met him at Curve on the set of Obama the Mamba – a new play which details the fall and rise of a man the Nairobi underworld used to call "the Crocodile", due to his ferocity.
His story is engaging but becomes more intriguing when you follow his lineage to Washington, USA, and learn that George is the half-brother of the American president.
But "the Crocodile" had little time for conversations about family.
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"His life is his life," he said. "He lives in the First World, I live in the Third World."
Bought up in a Kenyan slum, George dropped out of school early and reveled in a life of crime – before later having an epiphany and focussing his energy on working with ghetto youngsters.
But his early life was far removed from the youth worker that coaches underprivileged children today.
"My life is different now," said the former gangster, who left school aged 15.
"I dropped out because of bad influences. I dropped out and went into crime. It's a part of my life and I have regrets – I wasted that part of my life."
George admitted to robbery as being the worst crime he had committed.
Then, aged 20, he was jailed – which he says gave him the time to think about his future.
"I saw my friends dying around me because of crime, and I thought, 'this is not where I want to die. I do not want to die while I'm young'.
George decided he would dedicate his life to preventing youngsters getting involved in crime. Now, he is a coach for a local football team, Huruma FC, where he works with youngsters who have the potential to follow the same path he did.
"They are like me, but before crime," he said.
The 30-year-old's life would not be further removed from that of brother Barack if he had moved his corrugated iron shack to Mars.
While George was serving time in an African jail in 2003, Barack – with whom George shares a father – was being prepped as leader of the western world.
For the past two days, TV crews, newspapers and radio presenters have been queuing up for a chance to ask George whether he ever thought about how his life could have been, ahead of the play's official launch at Curve last night.
"Honestly, I don't like interviews, I am exhausted," he said at one point.
George – who is tall and long-limbed, not unlike his American sibling – spent most of Monday and yesterday answering (or not answering) questions about his extraordinary life.
Yesterday afternoon, for this interview, George, Kevin Fegan, the play's author, and I sat on the set on the compact stage in Curve's smaller, 180-seat auditorium.
It is where George would last night watch his life played out in front of him, and he admitted feeling "nervous".
The stage was covered in red sand and there was a large wooden platform taking up most of the space.
"This is like home," said George. "It looks like Africa. Like the slum."
I asked George to describe the slum and talk about where he lived, but he just laughed and looked away.
It was a rare moment of expression from the Kenyan.
"It's hard to describe the slum," he said. "If you grew up in the First World you can't understand the Third World." He turned to playwright Kevin. "Ask Kevin, he's been there," he said. "He can tell you what it's like."
But in the end he decided to answer for himself. "I think it's not bad, but there are a lot of problems, healthcare and sanitation," said George.
"Unemployment. Children do not go to school because of poverty."
Playwright Kevin said he was inspired to pen Obama the Mamba after reading George's biography, written by British writer Damien Lewis.
"I went to meet George last summer," said Kevin.
"I had to meet and experience the slum community for myself.
"It's very much about trying to capture his life through his eyes and experiences."
Obama the Mamba runs at the theatre until Saturday.
For tickets, visit: