In the wake of President Obama’s re-election, my American dream has been re-awakened. If you think I’m chasing hot air, then you probably didn’t see the smiles on first time immigrant voters’ faces as they cast their ballots.
Like Barack Obama often reminds us, some of these stories are only possible in America and he’s testament to that. To echo his words, who knew that a Black man with such humble beginnings could win not one but two terms? Sometimes I wonder if the enormity of what he has achieved so far has truly sunk in.
Almost forgot that Nobel Peace Prize he won in 2009. What else is he going to do to top all this? Back to the elections, in 2008, I was confident he would win long before he’d even secured his party’s nomination. This time around? Not so much. I feared the worst after a couple of polls gave Mitt Romney a lead and others projected a tie. At Obama’s inauguration in 2009, I remember thinking that even if he served just one term, he’d made history, yet here I was in 2012 badly wanting him to win a second term. Some of my friends don’t ‘get’ my obsession with Obama. Some don’t even like him. “What has he done for Africa? What has he done for you?” they ask. I always tell them the same thing. You can like someone even when they don’t do or give you anything. And like a BBC correspondent in Kenya said, Barack Obama is first and foremost an American President. He doesn’t owe Kenyans, Africans, Asians or Europeans anything. That said, I’m sure we all know his administration has done many things for the rest of the wor
ld as have other administrations before his. I know for instance that America is helping Uganda hunt down Joseph Kony. Elsewhere, Muammar Gaddafi is gone and Egypt has a new president.
Also, the US is still sending aid and grants to developing countries, and scholarships are still being awarded, so for people to say he hasn’t done anything is not true. Unless of course you’re one of those who expected him to hand you cash or secure you a visa. I wish we would interpret Obama’s victory the way he wants us to. That with hard work, courage, self-belief and hope, anything is possible.
It may take years to live your dream but if you’re patient, eventually, it will pay off. He knows what he’s talking about. Remember he lost a Congressional Democratic primary race back in 2000. Imagine if he had thrown pity parties and decided he wasn’t good enough for anything, the way many of us tend to do when doors are slammed in our faces or things don’t go our way!
So my friends, I’m not giving up on my American dream. I’m going forward and believe that one day, I’ll get to the US. Not only do I scour the Internet for scholarship or job opportunities relentlessly but I’m trying with the Green Card lottery too. Not that spam that clogs our inboxes but the legitimate lottery run by the US government. No luck yet but I’m hopeful. 50,000 people are granted US citizenship every year and I don’t see why I can’t be one of them. I can see opportunities opening up for me. I can see my life changing and ultimately, my family’s lives changing. But even if it doesn’t happen, it won’t hurt to have tried.
To be continued...