Ogake Anne Angwenyi (Kenya, UWCAC07-09)
A sense of excitement and expectation took over many parts of the world early last week with the announcement that Barack Obama would be the United State of America’s next president. Frenzy and celebration took hold of Obama’s supporters as they revelled in the reality that change had finally come to America and indeed to the world as a whole. So grand were these celebrations that in Kenya, the birth place of Obama’s father, a national holiday of celebration and thanksgiving was declared in honour of the son of the land who had brought pride and honour to his people.Indeed the man, Barack Obama has become the man of the moment. For centuries to come, he will be remembered as the man who changed history in every sense. It is evident that Obama is uniquely suitable for his position of president. Not only is he truly African and American, he is also well educated, forward-thinking, courageous and greatly endowed with the gift of oratory.
It is in consideration of the enormous potential he has as a leader, that one clearly sees the great amount of pressure that he faces as he takes on the role of 44th president of the most powerful nation on earth. Obama seeks to address core societal issues in America that will undoubtedly have an impact on the rest of the world as well. His desire to deal with the current economic crisis, the war in Iraq, environmental matters and foreign policy seems well thought out and meaningful, yet it goes without saying, that the road ahead is steep and the hurdles will be many. Change will not come immediately, it will take a while and perseverance is key to this process. The world in its observance of Obama’s actions must bear in mind that change will not be an overnight process.
In spite of the long trek ahead however, I am hopeful that the straight talking, charming and determined president elect who braved all odds during his childhood, youth and political career to get to the top office, is indeed the change that America and the world, has been waiting for. It is more than refreshing to see a younger, competent individual in power. After all, our ancestral fathers told us the future was ours, didn’t they?
The future is indeed bright. Now, more than ever, a poor scantily-dressed child in a village in Kenya can foster the ambition that if they really strive against all odds and give life their best shot, then they too can be that change, that difference, that future! If we could thank Barack Obama for nothing else, we must thank him for being that young child’s source of hope.
-United World College Student Magazine-