Being the spitting image of President Barack Obama undoubtedly has both its pros and cons, but for Ilham Anas, looking like Obama’s long lost twin has helped him build a home and support his family.
If you’re going to look like anyone, it’s perhaps not a bad idea to resemble one of the most powerful men on the planet, and 40-year-old Indonesian man Ilham Anas knows all about being mistaken for the U.S. President.
The Mirror reports that the man who would be Obama is regularly stopped at airports by admirers who mistake him for Barack.
Such is Ilham’s resemblance to Barack Obama, he has travelled the globe – including the U.S. and China – to find work as the American President’s doppelgänger.
Based in Jakarta, where the real Obama lived as a child, the modest father-of-two works as a photographer for a teen magazine, but when Anas is busy strutting his stuff on the streets of Indonesia, he is regularly mobbed by fans who worship the fake Barack Obama as a celebrity in his own right.
“If I am wearing a suit, many people mistake me for the real Obama. When I was in America, a grandmother got in the elevator with me and was so shocked to see ‘Barack Obama’ stood there she fainted.”
Ever since Barack was elected into office, Ilham has ben teased about his resemblance to the President.
“Colleagues of mine decided to put a picture of me next to that of Barack’s and everyone mentioned how similar we look. When he was elected, a local newspaper ran the picture comparing the two of us and suddenly there was so much demand for me to appear on TV and in public. I never wished for this, I am naturally a very shy person but it is God’s blessing. It has given me money to buy a car, money towards my house.”
Yet For Anas, looking like Obama is both a blessing and a curse. As a devout Muslim living in the world’s most populous Muslim nation, Barack’s double does sometimes fear for his safety because he looks so much like the U.S. President.
“I am very careful about the jobs I take. I refuse anything that I think may be controversial or look bad on the real Obama.”
Despite idolizing Obama and being blessed with the President’s good looks, Anas has never had the opportunity to meet his mirror reflection.
“I have never met him in person. When he came to Indonesia, I was in Los Angeles – pretending to be Barack Obama. I hope someday I can meet him. If I do, the first thing I will ask is whether I can have a photograph alongside him!”
With Obama’s second term in office coming to an end, Ilham has concerns but remains optimistic about his side job as an Obama impersonator.
“Since Obama became leader I have learned many things such as speaking in public and stand-up comedy thanks to my work playing him, so I hope there will still be a way for me to exist in the entertainment world afterwards.”
And no doubt the real Barack Obama would wholeheartedly agree with such sentiments.