Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Kenyan Considers Obama's Story

Mauya Omauya

During Barack Obama's last visit to Kenya he gave a thrilling speech at the University of Nairobi, UON on Monday 28th August, 2006.

In his speech entitled, An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future, Barak Obama reprimanded Kenya's corrupt leaders for being the cancer that ails Kenya. He boldly and without batting an eyelid stated, "while corruption is a problem we all share, here in Kenya it is a crisis - a crisis that's robbing an honest people of the opportunities they have fought for - the opportunity they deserve."

A young Barak Obama with family in Kenya

He lashed at negative ethnicity, greed and tribalism that are to blame for Kenya's "a thousand millionaires and a million beggars" situation.Kibaki's Government through their usual parrot, Dr Alfred Mutua disowned Obama, rubbished him about his remarks and told him how unwelcome his advice and presence was! Mr. Obama was described as being ignorant and dismissed as a mere Senator from Illinois, methinks they meant an inconsequential busybody who was very low in the American pecking order.

In short, Kibaki's government actually could not stand Obama's honest opinion on the way forward for Kenya; Kibaki's regime did not listen to him and a few months later, in January 2008, Kenya plunged itself into an Armageddon; a clear result of the build-up of unresolved injustices in the nation.

Upon Obama clinching the White House on 5th November 2008, Kibaki addressed kenyans, emphasizing Obama's links to Kenya and expressing elation on his victory. For Kibaki to turn around and declare a National Holiday in honour of Obama is to exhibit narrow-mindedness because he and his political cohorts don't share Barack's spirit of governance.

Had he shared Barack's ideals, he should have implemented the great advice Obama gave in the UON speech. While it is proper for Kenyans to celebrate Obama's victory, methinks there are reasons for Kenyans to gnash their teeth in shame because Obama's victory highlights our shame as a country!

If Obama is "Luo" (he has written so his book although jestingly) then USA has just elected a Luo tribesman to the White House, the highest and most powerful office on earth currently. This answers Ali Mazrui's 2007 question; Which country between Kenya and USA will be the first to elect a Luo to the highest office. Kenya has killed all its brilliant Luos and any other bright chaps; Tom Mboya, Robert Ouko, Dr Mbai, Pinto etc. If a Luo aspired to take a high office in Kenya we would be loudmouthed about uncut penises and their love of throwing stones! The last time a Luo, Raila Odinga shook the country with his fame and won clearly in 5 out of 8 provinces in an election in Kenya (2007), the country sped towards genocide rather than see a Luo at the helm. The divisive and venomous nature of Kenyan politics deeply ingrained in ethnic discrimination should make us be ashamed to be related to Obama's message of change!

Obama's victory should be our shame because his story could not be possible in Kenya. In Kenya, I doubt if he could even become a ward councilor, maybe he could not have gone to University or even if he did, he'd have to study some subject he didn't choose because he is on Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) and the Joint Admissions Board (JAB) just allocates you a degree based on available bed space in the universities, your dream or preference doesn't count. All the good subjects or those that a student wants and has passion for would have been taken by Rich and/or Parallel students who even graduate in less time than the "common students."

Had Obama vied to be councilor in Majengo ward, Nairobi, they would sneer at him, huyu chotara anataka nini?, what does this half-breed want? If he vied for mayor in Kisii town they could have inquired "mointo ong'o are? Whose son is he?, ngesaku ki'are? Which tribe is he? And he would fail miserably in the election! His Victory in America is Kenya's shame because it could not happen in Kenya. Thank God Obama senior chose to let the boy grow in the USA rather than having dragged him to live in Shauri Moyo. Obama's story could not happen in the present Kenya's socio-political climate! It is a shame.

From here.

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