Friday, 30 January 2009

Celebrating Obama

For a minute on Tuesday, 20th January, it seemed as if the whole world was enchanted. Every one's attention was arrested by one event-the swearing in of America's new president Barack Hussein Obama. The occasion invoked great feelings of accomplishment, relief, happiness, joy and definitely hope in people all over the world. Many commentators have effectively deliberated on the subject and its implications for the world's future. But i would like to add my own voice to the discussions making the rounds.

Obama's elevation to that position of great honour is a product of sacrifice, hard work, dedication, faith, and a great deal of perseverance, relentlessness and optimism unseen in leaders around the world. In addition, the occasion aroused strong emotional feelings among the African American and minority communities in the US. This feeling has been shared by black people everywhere-in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean. The emotional arousement that the Obama inauguration ignited, especially among black folks, is due to the unpleasant experiences of slave trade, colonialism, segregation and apartheid that the race was subjected to in the world's sinful past. The trials of those old bad days, though they have been long gone, had left a feeling of unequalness, timidity, hopelessness, and lack of self expression and identity in an entire race of people.

Thus, for many blacks in the US, President Obama's emergence has been a great awakening, renaissance and appropriately a liberation; it is a primer preceding the final step of the journey to equality. Back home in Africa, the joyous reception given to the news is ample proof that we on the mother continent share in the joys, anxieties and expectations of our kith and kin in the diaspora. For many on the continent, the Obama inauguration has also raised hopes of Africa increasing its share of the American development aid, an unlikely event in the advent of the global financial crisis. Followers and fans of great African and black leaders of yore would also rightly rate Obama in the lofty group of the Marcus Garveys, Kwame Nkrumahs, Julius Nyereres, Martin Luther King Jrs. and Nelson Mandelas.

But Obama is a phenomenon that transcends race. It is testimony to how dreams, positivity and passion can transform the life of a person. It is an indication of the triumph of his message of hope over fear and misdirected aggression. It is also an exhibition of how one determined person is set on a path to change the history of the USA and effectively the world. He carries on his shoulders the dreams of men and women, blacks and whites, literates and illiterates, Christians and Muslims, the world over. Obama, as indicated by many analysts, also reflects a new way in which America relates to the rest of the world, which would hopefully tone down the rising wave of anti-Americanism.

Fianlly, Obama's decison to focus on domestic issues may just be what America needs to come out of its current economic doldrums. His economic stimulus package, and focus on developing sustainable energy sources, is a step in the right direction and would go a long way to reignite the global economic engine and promote environmental conservation.

In summary, Barack Obama is being celebrated the world over for his illustous achievement, and elevating the image of America in the world. His presidency is an indication of greater things to come for the entire world. The world is watching closely how things unfold in America in the next few years. Yes we can!

1 comment:

  1. Many people did not give him a dog's chance. He is the one to bring back America unto a its hopeful feet however. Lets just keep our fingers crossed I hear he has a swine flu to deal with !


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