Thomas Crampton

Next Beta: Social Media's Evolution, Globally

Mark Ndesandjo

Mark Ndesandjo

Mark Ndesandjo is president Barack Obama’s half-brother who lives in Shenzhen, teaches piano at an orphanage and runs an Internet company, World Nexus, that helps Chinese companies export to the US.

The company website says they assist Chinese companies set up websites for foreign customers. Their motto: “Good Communication is Good Business”.

Boilerplate says Worldnexus is registered with the Shenzhen city government and under the Chinese name 天下(TIAN XIA).

I did an earlier blog posting about the World Nexus.

Above photo is from Shenzhen Daily article published Nov 6 that had an amusing “only in China” anecdote:

After Ndesandjo’s identity was revealed, the wine producers of Shenyang Dragon Medical Co. Ltd., Liaoning Province, invited Ndesandjo to be their product spokesman. Ndesandjo turned down the offer, saying that he would think about it after the election.

If anyone knows him, please let me know. I’d like to request a video interview for my blog. Sounds like he has carved out a very interesting life in Shenzhen.

- From Chinese-language sources in Chination Report:

Mark teaches piano in an orphanage, according to a March 2004 article in the Nanfangnet Daily:

Mark doesn’t have much money. His goal is to bring the art of music to the orphans. He believed an orphan’s life needs not only the essentials. The arts are needed, too. Mark began teaching piano lessons at the orphanage every week – at least until events of this year overtook him. Since 2002, Mark has taught several dozen piano students. Two of his students studied with him for more than two years, one is Xing Yun, who went on to college in Guangzhou. The other is Long Ben.

From a CD cover that Mark produced:

Mark is a writer, painter and composer who spends most of his time in Asia and USA. He was born in Kenya. He studied at Brown and Stanford Universities. He published 3 CDs and one book. The book’s title is Observations in Africa and others. This (semi-autobiographical) book is about a young Kenyan man who immigrated to the US and lived in a metropolitan city there. He studied Communications and worked at Lucent Technologies and Notel Networks in high positions. His hobbies included sky diving, skiing and surfing.

Mark’s business ventures:
While dining, Sui came up with a plan: Instead of just consulting, why not also open a barbeque stand? This idea excited Mark a lot. He said he wanted to open such stands in Kenya to introduce grilled tofu and potato chips to his countrymen. While enjoying their beer and chips, they drew up a business plan on a piece of scrap paper. They even designed a menu. Mark insists that it has to be natural. He wanted a very simple, unpretentious hut instead of a fancy restaurant. They named the hut-restaurant Cabin BBQ. At the end of 2003, the first Cabin BBQ was opened in Shenzhen, adjacent to their existing information consulting office.

As of today, Cabin BBQ has seven branches, including one in Yingchuan in the northwest of China, far away from Shenzhen. They are also planning on entering the Kenyan market with their next Cabin BBQ. Sui said, “From a simple joke out of desperation to a viable business, we feel like we’re in a dream!” Thanks to the opening of their first Cabin BBQ, which became a very successful, profitable business, they were able to pay themselves a salary while covering the overhead of the consulting firm, which is still not profitable.

- According to a 2004 article in News Guangdong

MARK NDESANDJO has been teaching children at the Shenzhen Social Welfare Center how to play piano since June 2002. A successful businessman in telecommunications, Ndesandjo is also a self-taught musician.

“When I first came to Shenzhen from Florida (in the United States) two years ago, I started collecting VCRs, DVDs and pianos from my classmates in the executive MBA program in Atlanta, Georgia and donated them to the welfare center,” said Ndesandjo.

But soon Ndesandjo found that every time he went there, it seemed like a big party. “Children were dressed up and organized to meet us,”he said.

“The children here don’t need food, but there is no art, or music to appreciate. Music connects human beings on the spiritual level and can have a lasting impression on the children, so I thought of setting up a program in arts education in the center,” said Ndesandjo.

- According to Roger Cohen in the NY Times

Obama’s half brother, Mark, the one in China, he’s described as studying physics at Stanford in the 1980s. “The things Mark studies are so complicated only a handful of people really understand it at all,” Ruth enthuses.

But Mark, “a black man of my height and complexion,” tells Obama his work’s a breeze. He expresses limited interest in their shared father who died in 1982 at 46: “Life’s hard enough without all the excess baggage,” he muses.

- Here is Mark’s Linked In profile. He has three connections as of Nov 6.

- While at Emory in 2000, Mark co-wrote a paper on New Applications for Global Positioning Systems.

A video report from Chinese TV Mark:

Appreciate details on how to get in touch.

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View Comments for “Mark Ndesandjo”

  • This is a pre-order bag from Chloe’s upcoming season. The Ava shoulder bag is made with sunkissed,used coach handbags, soft leather, the bag is certainly more suited to warm weather than the darker days of winter. It has a flap closure that covers the entire front of the bag and is secured with a gold turn-lock closure. The hardware on the adjustable shoulder strap is gold as well. Price: $1,190.

  • The Crocodylus porosus is an exotic staple of the house, highly sought after, highly stunning, and highly priced. 

  • Michael Blalir

    Please pass this on to Mr. Obama.  It is letter this little girl has sent to her friends and family in China.  Please help her.  You may respond to me at [email protected]  Thank you.

    我是一名从中国来的15岁的癌症少女。在中国,我的病被医生称为不治之症,并告知寿命只有3-6个月,纵使进行化疗也只能延长一年的寿命。家人们拒绝让我接受化疗。因为中国的化疗很痛苦,与其痛苦地多活一年,还不如让我好好玩几个月了断余生。但是和我们家庭关系亲密的美国人Michael却坚持要带我到美国的M.D Anderson cancer center来治疗。在他的鼓励下,家人慢慢重拾信心,在四十几天里筹集了十万美金带我来到美国。当然,前提是安德森医院已经接收了我。这一切都是我来到美国之后才知道的,包括我的病情。知道之后,心情比较平静,但求生的欲望却愈发强烈。幸运的是,安德森医院认为我的病对于他们来讲是很有自信的。当时,我激动的热泪盈眶。之后为了化疗做准备,在我的胸前装入了power port,胃部装入了打食物的管子,虽然很难受,但我都忍受了。后来,经过一系列的检查之后医生们发现除了颈部之外,我的脊髓里也有癌胚胎,我的生存率也随之降低。我的心情有些许沮丧。但是这依然比中国的零生存率强。现在我已经经过了一次化疗,非常非常难受,但是为了生存,我必须承受。但是令人激动的是,只仅仅一次,我颈部的肉瘤就缩小了,说明这个化疗对我的癌症是有效的,这也让人不得不惊叹美国的医疗技术。所以我当然要继续下去。
    我们已经看到了希望,当然不希望因为钱而到此为止。Everything for survive! Please help me!

  • Obama mentions Mark in his first book. According to the book, Obama met
    Mark's mother (who is white) and His and Mark's brother on his first
    trip to Kenya. He did not meet Mark who had left Kenya. I doubt they
    have ever met.

  • Sodacrackers2

    Mark sounds like he has his head on straight, what a nice man. 

  • Eric Jackson

    I really like this story.

  • the truth

    Mark's mother is Jewish, met the senior Obama while attending Harvard. Mark has advanced degrees in physics, is extremely intelligent, far superior to his brother both intellectually and physically.

  • mukararalesles

    Hi Mark, James Njoroge Ngari of Boston, Massachusetts USA musician born in Kenya would like to contact you. check (youtube; mukararalesles) SONGS; OBAMA IS UNBEATABLE, WE LOVE YOU OBAMA, CONGRATULATION PRESIDENT OBAMA

  • gina

    I didnt know that obama had a half brother at all! thats a surprise to me!

  • gina

    I didnt know that obama had a half brother at all! thats a surprise to me!

  • DickeFix

    Another clip with Mark Ndesandjo from swedish TV about his book

  • This is great. I am so proud of you both. Keep up the good work,

    Stephen Reid

  • Their family is surely worth it of some respect from others, Barrack and Mark are great persons with a kind heart

  • thander

    How do you prove his relationship to Obama ?

  • Margaret

    Mark is a highly intelligent young man, a talented musician, whom I knew in the '80's.
    He uses the surname of his mother's present husband, Simeon Ndasandjo.
    He had a younger brother, David, who died in an accident in the early '80's.

  • sirch

    Wow - heck of an improvement over Billy Carter,,, This is the kind of guy that inspires people from other countries to admire America, before Bush and his ass-clown posse threw it all away.

  • nana

    He uses his mother's maiden name.

  • nana

    Sophia heuses his mother's maiden name.

  • Sofia

    Thanks! That explains it.

  • Sofia

    Maybe I missed something, but if they share a father why do they have different last names?

  • I found that Mark has resurfaced in Shenzhen with involvement of a Charity event with the American Chamber of Commerce

  • Although he is not in the political world he is contributing a lot in a certain way, his voluntary activities only shows that he loves to serve people no matter what their nationality is.

  • Queen

    I feel its okay for him (Ndesandjo) to feel the way he does. You know, the world we are living in now has changed. The man to be President IS going to change things greatly. Can you imagine? He is probably related to JESUS too, we just don't know. God has a way of showing us things and sometimes, it all lies in our faith to believe the unbelievable. Now, if Barack (U.S.) has never ran for office, we would not have these blog postings. So, for all the Ndesandjo’s privacy, I totally respect that. Not everybody likes the limelight. I do commend him for all his work with the children; I feel it’s a wonderful gratitude. If we all can do just a bit of what this man is doing, the world sure will be a better place to truly enjoy! Just my 2cent! Keep up the good work. ( You should be featured on Oprah!)

    For Ndesandjo! (If you ever read this!) Maybe you can help your half brother (George Hussein Onyango Obama) in Kenya, give him some encouragement to maybe start something of his own. He is still young, give him some hope, intelligent seems to run in ya’ll family, so there….something he already has… the brotha out! You can do it! (

  • Liz

    Obama mentions Mark in his first book. According to the book, Obama met Mark's mother (who is white) and His and Mark's brother on his first trip to Kenya. He did not meet Mark who had left Kenya. I doubt they have ever met.

  • Tim

    How do you know he IS Obama's half brother ? so many cheats and fraud in this world! prove to me this is NOT a scam.
    is he going to Obama's inauguration ?

  • usaman

    want to know what is Barack’s father profession was?

  • Tom

    He was the chief economist at the ministry of Finance in Nairobi, Kenya. He graduated from Harvard with a PhD in Economy.

  • Mcareful59

    No, he called himself "Dr" but according to released INS documents he did not finish a PhD and was asked to leave the U.S.

  • CH

    What? Does anyone really know anything?

  • Mark has behaved with great dignity throughout the circus of his estranged half-brother's election, turning down publicity and opportunities to cash in.

    Let's try to respect his desire for privacy.

  • Emma

    Very accomplished and the social opposite of his brother, but their kinship is evident in Mark's intelligence. Their father had a high I.Q. and I wonder if Ruth is a WASP like Barack's mother. She probably is extremely intelligent, too.

    One of the saddest parts in Barack's "Dreams from my Father" is where he says he will never see Mark again because Mark's views on race and rootedness to Africa are so anathema and upsetting to Barack. Mark loves Western civilization whereas Barack was taught by his mother to despise it.

  • soulshadow55

    It just goes to show you that sometimes being without a parent is not a detriment to success.

    Well wishes and much continued success to Mark, Barack and the rest of their families.

    God Bless America and our President-Elect.

  • soulshadow55

    M - asked "how can you publish someone's address on the web just like that?" The address of the White House, 1600 Pennsylania Aveue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20500, is a well-known address in the U.S. and around the world.

  • A very noble work that Obama's brother is doing. Though he can't earn so much but still it's great that he is teaching music to orphaned child.

  • IBM

    He's brother is the next President of the United States!

  • m

    njd - how can you publish someone's address on the web just like that?

  • Daniel

    Greatness runs in the Obama family.

  • Aradhana

    Hey Thomas Crampton, I am a writer myself and am intrigued by this man too. Can I expect you to share his contact details with me, if you are able to dig it out. Meanwhile, I am trying my sources.

  • Ok, Great! Thanks.

    I'll be sure to drop by his half-brother's pad next time I'm in DC.

  • NJD

    If you can wait a few months, I know Mark's half-brother will be living at the below address:

    1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Best of luck

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