We did not create Obama. The United States did. As Kenyans celebrate, we should be aware of this fact. Repeatedly, Obama has said that his story could only happen in the United States. We have to understand how leveling this implicit critique is. Only in the United States could an Obama thrive and become president-elect.

Right now, Kenyans continue to grapple with the effects of the post-election violence (PEV). We are caught in the grip of its after-shocks—some communities are still being told to “move back” to their ancestral lands; we have not yet found a solution to the IDP problem; and our politicians continue to wrangle and, in doing so, to endorse and affirm our culture of impunity.

Our joy over Obama’s success should be tinged with shame for who we are and what we are doing and not doing. Our joy over his success should be modulated by the realization that we have not yet produced our own Obama.

We need to be introspective and evaluative, to be aspirational rather than simply celebratory.

In a talk yesterday, Bethuel Kiplagat phrased it this way: we are so proud of Obama’s success. We need to be careful that we do not make him ashamed of us.

2 thoughts on “11.05.08


    Even as we celebrate Obama’s success story, even as we with fingers closed wait for his inauguration as the 1st half black President of the USA. We need as Kenyans to ask ourselves this fundamental question. What has been our contribution to Obama Success?

    His BIOLOGICAL father was a Kenyan, who however abandoned his son and escaped any responsibilities of child support. Infact Obama confesses that he learnt more form his Kenyan ‘father’ absence than from his presence. This is kenya’s EMBARASSMENT NO. 1. So his real father was the parents who took Obama in and saw him through his childhood and teenage years giving him the values that he now holds. That’s the reality Kenyans.

    His ‘Cousin’ Raila has all along been a source of discredit to his good reputation. Raila with his VIOLENT NATURE, COMMUNIST ORIENTATIONS, MUSLIM ASSOCIATIONS have all been used against Obama. Infact, Raila in himself has cost Obama some support and Obama campaign team had to work hard to show how distant in thinking and association these two men are. This is Kenya’s EMBARASSMENT 2. It has not gone unnoticed to the Mc Cain campaign team that Raila call for mass protest in Kenya led to over 1500 deaths. This explains why Obama banished Raila from any visits to his campaign or why Obama campaign team has consistently turned down on 4 occassions RAILA’S MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS totaling 40,000 USD.

    Obama’s Aunt who also happen to be Kenyan has been an illegal immigrant in US for a while. This was also ANOTHER EMBARRASSMENT from yet another Kenyan.
    Infact, we OWE OBAMA AN APOLOGY AS A COUNTRY. With all these bad publicity from Kenya’s heritage, Obama has been understanding enough not to talk ill of us. For that we should be grateful.

    Looking on the other side, Obama’s real family in the US has been a SOURCE OF INSPIRATION AND GOOD PUBLICITY. Yet, they have been quite about it as we in Kenya tell the whole world how Kenyan Obama is.


  2. It is extra embarassing that we can have a public holiday yet the man’s success has nothing to do with us. Highly embarassing.

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