Normally he keeps quietly to himself in the southern Chinese boomtown of Shenzhen where he lives with his Chinese wife, practicing calligraphy and teaching piano to orphans.
On Wednesday, though, he emerged briefly to promote a semi-autobiographical book he has published which he says draws on his childhood with an abusive father – who was President Barack Obama’s father, too.
That was pretty much the image the US president painted of his dad in his best-selling memoir “Dreams From My Father”: no scandalous revelation there. And his half brother resolutely refused to discuss politics with reporters.
Ndesandjo, who will tell outsiders no more about his job than that he is a marketing consultant, looked trim and athletic, according to journalists at the press conference. He had a crewcut, a purple bandana and a pierced ear in which he sometimes wears a diamond.
No scandal there, either. Certainly nothing to compare with Juanita Castro, the sister of Cuba's iconic Communist leader Fidel Castro, who revealed the other day that she had been on the CIA payroll in the 1960s. Nor with former President Jimmy Carter’s notoriously hard-living younger brother Billy, who became an agent of the Libyan government.
How good Ndesandjo’s novel is, however, remains to be seen; it went on sale Wednesday from Aventine Press, a self-publishing company less charitably known as a “vanity press.”
And it is in for some competition: Among other books in the works from the extended First Family are ones by another half brother, a half sister and Michelle Obama’s brother.