Malik Obama in Kenya
Malik Obama, a step brother to US Democratic President Barak Obama, talks to villagers in Kogelo, the Obama's rural home in Siaya district, in November 2008 Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images

United States President Barack Obama's half-brother, Malik Obama, has said he will be voting for Donald Trump in the forthcoming US Presidential election.

"My name is Malik and I will be voting for Mr Donald Trump," Obama told BBC World Service from Kenya. "(I will vote Trump) because he comes across as a straightforward guy and he speaks from the heart and that appeals to me".

During the interview, the President's half-brother, a long-time Democrat who lives in the rural Kenyan village of Kogelo but is still registered to vote in the state of Maryland, explained why he was changing party loyalties ahead of the November poll.

"That's the reason for me to vote for him and also changing my party from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party."

Regarding Trump's policy on immigration and views about Muslims, Obama – a Muslim – said: "It's just as difficult now for me or anybody else (to travel from Kenya to the US) because of what all these people are doing and I think that what he proposes is just common sense."

The surprise endorsement comes as the 2016 Democratic National Convention wrapped its first day in Philadelphia with a mixed success to rally the party behind former First Lady and presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton following the leak of a series of emails.

Kogelo, the Obama's rural family home, is located in the Siaya district in the south-west of Kenya. President Obama last visited Kogelo, where his father is buried, in July 2015.