2009 has begun with a bang. The 20th of January 2009 will forever be remembered as a day of celebration for every person of colour.
It is a day of triumph ranking up there with the historic release of Nelson Mandela from Robben Island, back on February11th 1990, and his subsequent electoral landslide victory on the 9th of May 1994.
It is a salve to the down-trodden people who mourned the deaths of King, X, Lumumba and Biko. Even more momentous is that this takes place, during King’s birthday and Black History Month.
A true son of the African soil is ascending to the highest political office on the planet. Sure, he’s been inaugurated as America’s C-in-C; but it would be blasphemous to suggest that he’s solely America’s triumph.
President Barack Obama, has, as he rested his brown hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible, ended a journey that begun with the first batch of African slaves setting foot on the cold shores of Massachusetts and Virginia.
Many have not seen the Promised Land that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr preached about; but its truly fascinating that the person who’s been blessed enough to have crossed the River Jordan, did so a single day after the US public holiday honouring the birth of the Afro-American martyr.
I’ve been a keen political observer over the years but, I must say, Obama is the first politician who everyone wants to see succeed, of course, except for white supremacists.
People expect him to, single-handedly, pull the US economy out of its doldrums, bring peace to the Middle East, arrest global warming and make good speeches while he’s at it as well.
But here is the anomaly; unlike most politicians, he’s trying to downgrade people’s expectations. Instead of promising heaven and earth, he’s telling people that things won’t be hunky-dory.
But do people register that? Nope! They believe that he is Christopher Reeve’s Superman resurrected, albeit, one with a darker hue than the immortal actor’s.
First of all, I believe that people’s expectations for Obama’s administration are a sign of just how ready they are for the kind of inspirational leadership that he’s a symbol of, rightly or wrongly.
And secondly, the very same great expectations are an indictment on our very own politicians who have failed to make us dream big.
As a famous politician ( Otto Von Bismark) once rightly said, “politics is the art of the possible”; the only problem is that politicians have preferred to heed Milton Obote’s famous take on politics as a ‘dirty game’.
President Obama is perhaps going to make politics the art of the possible. I’m not a naïve fellow and it’s a fact that his hype will probably exceed his achievements because his tasks are far too numerous for just one administration.
However, Tuesday’s events and their subsequent global appeal is a sign of just how desperate people are to believe in something and to dream that everything is a possibility. Even if that dream comes to nought, it’s a wonderful feeling to dream isn’t it.
I’m not an expert on the Congo conflict, that’s the first thing I must say. But as a casual observer, I’ll like to put my two cents in. I’d like to congratulate the Rwandan and Congolese governments for coming to a real resolution, where the FDLR’s continuous presence in the DRC is concerned.
Clear thinking has prevailed. This is something that should be commended because of the maturity that was shown by the Congolese side. It’s not everyday that a sovereign nation admits that it needs help from a former ‘enemy’.
In fact, that is the problem that NATO and Afghanistan have with Pakistan. The tribal regions of Pakistan are harbouring Taliban fighters planning and executing terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.
The Pakistani army is powerless against those fellows but will they let someone else deal with them? No. So, they end up having a situation where the Taliban, not only poses problems to its neighbour, but also to Pakistan itself. Thankfully, the DRC has chosen not to go down that road.