Barack Obama: Giant African Departs, Thank You. A luta Continua

2016-12-29 20:25

For hundreds of millions of Africans all over the world, the thrill of seeing Barack Obama beat the odds to become President of the United States was one of the most mesmerizing and uplifting experiences of our lives.

Thank You. Aluta Continua. In 2008, barely out of his forties, Barack Obama with the audacity of hope started his campaign not in cosy luxurious hotels but at the beaten down backyards, downtown neighborhoods and worn out garages.

Soon after his election, global news outlets screamed with the headlines: Hope Washes Across Africa After Obama Triumph!

The feelings of joy, hope, excitement made the air heavy with fog.

Barack Obama’s two terms as president of America is successfully coming to an end. And so the year 2016 closes the curtain on rather a remarkable period that started with the audacity of hope (first term) to Moving America and the World Forward (second term).

I am so glad that his successful terms in office are almost over, (just about 20 days is left).

It was a great experience for Africans. Here are some of the personal experiences during the of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States, back in 2008.

In Nigeria Jibril Sado jumped and typed the following words:

“As Africans, the ancestral siblings of Obama, the son of a Kenyan father, we celebrate with one of ‘our own’. Therefore, from Kogelo in Kenya to Mathlabathini in South Africa, from Garoua in Cameroun to Futta Jallon in Mali, from Kibongo in Rwanda to Nembe in Nigeria, let us all roll out the drums and revel in this moment of history”.

My optometrist friend Okey captured the rich mood as follows:

“Goose pimples were all over my body. I wished I could shed a tear or two, but the joy that enveloped me could not stimulate my tear glands. It just made me stare in awe. Is this real? Could this be true? I kept asking myself”.

He continues:

“I took out time to dance. Yes! I danced, I jumped, I screamed, only to discover that I had several missed calls on my mobile phone. Calls from like minds within and out of my country of abode. Text messages came pouring in. It was not my birthday. I did not win a lottery. And what was the cause of all these? Barack Obama had just emerged as the 44th President of the United States of America.”

Another person somewhere in Africa said:

“I had slept off only to be woken up later by a shove from Charles, my election night co-camper. He angrily announced that it didn’t look like Obama will make it. I held on fast to the edge of the seat and rubbed my eyes hard till it almost bled not wanting to drift off again. I didn’t want to be told later what had happened. As the results started to trickle in, my anxiety heightened and that’s when I found solace in my phone.

"As I called family and friends scattered all over the world, I was comforted by the fact that they were all keeping vigil, I imagined that there would be millions like. Charles and I would drift in and out of sleep but would wake each other up as we waited for Obama to cross the finish line.

"It was Charles who woke me up with a big scream eventually pointing to the breaking news story on CNN that our man had crossed the finish line first, and then another round of calls again. First, to my wife in London who had also been keeping vigil, then to my brother in Dallas who had earlier voted for Obama, I could still hear champagne popping as we congratulated each other.”

About his experience, Van Jones says:

"I woke up early, filling with anticipation and pride. My wife and I put our infant son and our pre-schooler into her car… as we got out of the car, we saw a dozen or so strangers. They were beaming and giving each other high-fives in the small parking lot. Grown men with tear-streaked faces, pumping their fists in the air, parents exchanged smiles and nods".

From the very beginning it was clear that the election of Barack Obama’s will not signal the end of the Blackman’s struggle for economic, social and political emancipation. But what it did was that it opened a new vista of self-consciousness, of pride and self-awareness for the black people and other world people who may have suffered one type of discrimination or the other. We should continue to keep hope alive. Who knows what tomorrow may bring?

It has been a long journey for the human race. The races of humankind belong to the same specie. We know that. Through hard science and hard research data we now know that all people of all races originates from Africa, and are all Africans.

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