As you would expect, Kenyans have had Obama fever over the last few weeks. Their temperature peaked yesterday when their pride swelled on the news of his victory, so overcoming them that President Kibaki named today Obama Day, effectively closing all businesses to celebrate what their son has accomplished.
Some Kenyans stayed up all night on Tuesday to hear the first results. Me, on the other hand, just set my alarm for 4 a.m. so I could start to watch the results come in once the polls closed at home. Sitting on the couch, completely glued to CNN, the results started showing that Obama was in the lead. Hours passed and he when he started winning major states, my excitement grew and grew. Then at 7 a.m. (11 p.m. Eastern), the California polls closed and CNN declared Obama the winner!
The local channels immediately went to images of Kenyans dancing in Kogelo village (where Obama traces his heritage) where their excitement matched that of the crowds at home. The rest of the day Obama was the only acceptable topic of conversation. When I arrived at the USK office, I heard Obama’s victory speech being replayed over the radio, I saw employees looking at the state-by-state results and felt the happiness and pride that infiltrated every Kenyan that morning.
Obviously, this man has not only injected hope in Americans, but into Kenyans too. What he has inspired is not just excitement and pride, but the true belief that everyone has the chance to make it in life, no matter where you start from. The American Dream is just as alive here in Kenya as it is at home and Obama is the one that has made that happen.
However, this hadn’t always been the case. When I first got here in May, the common sentiment I felt from Kenyans was that life is hard and that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to move up past what you were born into. But on Wednesday morning, the attitude shifted. Thanks to Obama and the Americans who voted for him, now the feeling is that everything and anything is possible for anyone, even ordinary Kenyans. This new found hope and optimistic vision for the future is exactly the kind of thing Kenyans need to improve their lives and their society.
For this reason, and so many others, I am so proud to have such an inspiring man as our 44th president. He has already changed so much and I can’t wait to see what else he can do in the next four to eight years. Happy Obama Day everyone!
Posted By Kristina Rosinsky
Posted Nov 6th, 2008
November 13, 2008
YES WE CAN!
I TOO CELEBRATE OBAMA’s VICTORY
Wednesday the 5th of November 2008 will forever remain a historic day in the human calendar. It is a day when the whole world rose to the good news of the election of the first ever black president of the undisputed powerful nation in the world. It is on this day that one Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States of America after a resounding win. Doubtlessly, Barrack’s candidature for presidency had received resounding endorsement not only from Americans but the rest of the world and as such his victory is celebrated far and wide.
Obama ascent to Presidency is a fulfillment of the dreams of his predecessors who fought hard to ensure equity and justice in America and the entire world. Some of them who did the painstaking job as pace setters, some who fought and condemned injustice with boldness resilience and some who launched the dream of a more equal and just society. The litany has names of Rosa Packs, Martin Luther King Jnr, Malcom X, Nelson Mandela, Steve Biko amongst others. Obama joins this rank as the epitome of the achievement the black history.
Prior to his election and out of immeasurable curiosity, I read the two books that give a snap shot of Obama’s history and his dream for the future. I first read his autobiography, the audacity of hope where he outlines his dream for America coherently. It is in this book that Obama interrogates and shares his views on how he thinks America should review, reconstruct and face the insurmountable challenges that it faces as a nation. What I liked most in this particular reading was his candidness, boldness and insightfulness. One thing that is outstanding in his articulation in this script is that any person who aspires to lead at any level must have a dream and vision for his or her project. Martin Luther King Junior summarizes this so well when he says that ‘a man or woman who does not know the reason why he or she is alive is not worth living’.
In his second autobiography entitled the dreams from my father, Obama narrates his history and gives the readers a glimpse of what he is made of. It is in this book that Obama narrates his divided history, his youthful dreams and seeks to give meaning to his life. He accords the reader the ingredient that causes him to tick. He embodies all virtues of incisive leader interalia brilliance, diligence, insightfulness, optimism, humility, boldness and so on. It is in this book that one realizes that Obama lives in the future and not the past. He is a forward looking gentleman who faces the future with hope and buoyancy, he is an initiator who has made history throughout his life. He began his career as a humble community organizer with a passion to transform the desperation and the disorder of the down trodden people in the society, he was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review, he was once the U.S senator from Illinois and is today the first ever Black President elect of the United States of America. Like Winston Churchill would put it, Obama draws from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
Obama’s victory as the 44th president of the United States of America gives me a sense of pride. This is a man who is a son of a black African, a Kenyan and a luo from Alego where my auntie is married. Notably we share the O factor because we are all from the Lake region but do I say! My pride for Obama’s victory also springs from the fact that he is a purveyor of hope whose painful and perverse black history on provided him with more calories to yearn and work for a better future. He embraces the notion of justice and freedom for all and trod the rugged path and endured a gallery of weighty episodes with humility and optimism, diligence and focus and overcame surmountable challenges to accomplish the great dream. His victory provides humanity with an opportunity for change that the world has yearned for centuries. Indeed, I feel empowered by Obama’s victory which affirms to the human race that our problems are never beyond our powers to solve them and that we can be what we want to be, we can shape our own destiny. Yes We Can!
 The writer is the convener of the Kasarani Youth Congress and can be reached through Email: email@example.com or Cellphone: +254 725 278 758
JANE ANYANGO ODONGO
February 23, 2009
I work for Kibera Women for Peace and Fairness, Wamama Wa Amani, we celebrated the day through a women football tournaments.
Women Can. Oh Yes We CAN if give a chance to prove that we can