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What Will ‘Brother Barack’ Do for Africa?
Posted on Dec 26, 2008
That “something else” is succinctly articulated by Ghanaian journalist Kofi Akordor, who says, “Ever since Africa and its people and natural resources were ‘discovered’ by white adventurers, ever since Africans were shipped into slavery and ever since some Europeans met in Berlin in 1844 and shared Africa among themselves, the continent and its people have been struggling for a psychological valve to redeem their image.”
According to Akordor, “The Obama victory [it is hoped] has restored the confidence of the African. If great America can see something good in the African, to the extent that it is ready to entrust its destiny into his care, what about the African? How does he see himself? [Does he still see himself as] a miserable being who cannot survive without foreign assistance?”
Akordor points out even more inspiration from Obama’s feat to “our African-American brothers and sisters in the U.S. and other places.” He says, “They have no excuse to remain where they are now [societally]. Obama has shown that they can go beyond the boxing ring, the tracks and the musical stages just entertaining others. They can also reach the top. That barrier of inferiority complex, that barrier of inadequacy, that barrier of self-pity and dependency has been broken.”
“History has been made,” Alhassah Adamu told AfricaNews at the celebrations that greeted Obama’s victory at the Headlines Hospitality Centre in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. “Obama has proved to the world that everyone irrespective of race, culture and background is equal. He has made blacks proud.”
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Drawing on his memories, Tutu says the feeling Obama’s victory gives is “almost as when Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994. We [Africans] have a new spring in our walk and our shoulders are straighter.”
The day after Obama’s victory was announced, Tutu is reported to have left a religious service in Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town with tears in his eyes.
The iconic Nelson Mandela himself told Obama: “Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.”
Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the first woman elected to head an African country, says she had not expected to see a black American president in her lifetime. “All Africans now know that if you persevere, all things are possible.”
Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared a public holiday “for Kenyans to celebrate the historic achievement by Sen. Obama and our country.” Kibaki described Obama’s victory as “momentous” for Kenya. “The victory of Sen. Obama is our own victory because of his roots here in Kenya,” Kibaki said. “As a country, we are full of pride for his success.”
Answering that question in the affirmative may be a greater gain for Africans than any aid that may come from having “our brother” in the White House.
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