Young Africa Leaders & Obama

Posted on 06/08/2010


My relationship with Obama or as I call him ‘Obizzle’ is simple. I never joined the Obama bandwagon throughout the whole campaign process. You can call me the road less travelled or a very ‘late adopter’ in marketing terms if you will. I certainly didn’t want Clinton as president at that point either, although I do admit that I see Hilary making her way into the Oval Office soon-ish. The simple truth is I am pro African, and so I watched him from a distance and simply waited. I still am. I’ll hold up my hand now and admit that I was both curious and selfish. I wanted to know what he would do for Mama Africa once he made it into the White House period! What about us I kept asking? I am still waiting for a massive response to be honest. And if we’re being brutally honest here, I wanted to see change to the way the US itself deals with Zimbabwe more importantly. I had no doubt at all that he would make it to White House. Why? He’s a strong character from where I’m standing. I also tried to imagine how the conversation he had with whoever it was (excluding Michelle of course) had gone down when he disclosed his intention to run for office. ‘You want to do what’? I would love to have been a fly in that room that day! Obviously there were people who opposed his seemingly naïve dream and yet he prevailed. Respect! I respect him for that certainly and I guess he is charismatic after all. Small issue I suppose, but I really wanted him to go ‘home’ (Kenya) as the first African country he visited as president. I understand the protocol, security concerns etc so I let it go. The real issue was: I didn’t want to support the Obizzle fan club simply because of his race. That would have been too easy. Supporting Obizzle simply because we are both black is almost like saying I didn’t like McCain because he’s white and I’m not. And that doesn’t make sense to me at all! I wanted to like HIM and what he actually stood for. Naïve I suppose but that’s how Sir Nige does things.

Last week I decided to buy his books thanks to Amazon once again. I have previously bought his books for other people admittedly but never had copies for my own collection. Prior to this week I had already decided that it was time to finally figure out who this man they call Barack is. What makes him tick I wondered? More importantly and on a very personal level, I am very curious about Michelle and her role in his life. The partners of such leaders play such an integral role I believe. That story is seldom told.

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Getting back to the video, which obviously inspired this blog entry, I couldn’t help but smile from within (the genuine kind of smile). The Young African Leaders spent some time with him at the White House and asked him their various questions – good questions too. I liked his honesty and I guess we all wait to see what happens next. I will share my thoughts on his books and my research going forward. The future is indeed looking very interesting….


Ps Happy belated birthday Obizzle!

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