Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Envy and other musings on a cold January afternoon

On November 4th, a huge chunk of the citizens of the United States of America participated in a free election that put in place the first black man as the 44th president. For country that grew its economic wealth on the exploitation and oppression of others, this was an amazing feat even in itself. And today, braving the bitter Washington DC cold, this man was sworn in with a ceremony that was moving and inspirational, into his office. This man, Barrack Obama, has become the new iconic symbol of global change. He is the black man from the West. He is the future of international relations.

My feelings at this point towards this man and his people are a combination of being impressed and envy. The journey to this point and the ability to get here is what I envy. On the day of the American elections, there were no reports of violence or rigging (no reports might not mean that they did not happen). People went to the polls, cast their vote and went about their day. At the end, the results were announced and the losing party bowed out with a graceful show of sportsmanship and stepped aside so the winning team could take centerstage. The entire country, irrespective of their beliefs and voting choices unified to welcome the new president home. It was like a page out of fairy tale book on what democracy is all about.

My eyes filled with tears as I listened to the 44th president make his first speech as president but I refused to let them fall. It is quite the heartbreak to hear such inspirational words coming from someone addressing his people and come from a country like mine.

I am a Nigerian. And I am wondering when we as a people will be courageous enough to demand leaders who manage our growth towards stability and further development. I wonder when we refuse to be poor in thought, words and deed because poverty is not just about a lack of legal tender; that is simply being broke. When will the mention of my nationality not mean an invitation for people to share what negative experiences they have heard about or experiences with some other Nigerians?

I don't know.

Maybe in twenty years. If we all make the conscious decision to work towards it.

Now, I watch the Americans celebrate.

In a while, and God willing I will be a part of it, so will we.

The Nigerians, I mean....and all other nationalities who wish it.


bumight said...

I couldnt have said it better. Even as i watched the proceedings from Nov 4 up till this moment, everytime i cant help but draw the contrast.

we will get there sooner or later. i just hope its sooner.

AlooFar said...

We'll get there soon. I'm sure. We just have to work towards it.

ibiluv said...


one day soon

we will get there

Miss Definitely Maybe said...

this kind of democracy
is rarely seen in Africa
maybe its greed
maybe its lack of knowledge
but hopefully one day we will all wake up and smell the cliched coffee

Shubby Doo said...

well said...truly...sometimes you really do just hit the nail on the head with your posts...i concur 100%

amen to us getting there...together

Jaja said...


I left a litle message for u my dear. Later.

Anonymous said...

We will get there but then it needs work. We cant just hope to get there. Sacrifices must be made by you and I. I mean for an Obama to happen thousands of people first had to die. Are you willing to die for the idea of democracy in Nigeria.

princesa said...

Amen!E go happen...one day!

Happy new year dear.

Afolabi said...

Obama's win and inauguration was inspiring, and it made me even curious about this whole civil rights movement and fights that had to take place before he could get into power. And wow, the African-Americans that fought or protested, did go through a lot. And I think we (Nigerians) can get there, but there's that part of me that thinks there will have to be changes and movements, first of all.

maitumbi said...

Me,I confess, I cried when he was taking the oath of office. They did it. Now , can we?

guerreiranigeriana said...

...yes, yes...but let us not forget the last two elections where all sorts of fuckery occurred here in this very united states of ameriker...i think it had a lot to do with why americans made sure that this election ran as it should...americans made it pretty obvious that enough was enough...the government was scared to fuck around so blatantly as it has over the past eight years...

...naija will get there too...when nigerians get fed up enough to not be able to take it anymore and have no qualms about expressing that to the government, we'll see change...hope and love must replace the apathy...

...happy new years!...if i haven't already said so...i salute you...

Carlang said...

When will we get there?

It's really very simple.
America finds itself leading the international world by virtue of it's composition. It is not just a nation of Caucasians. It is also one of Arabs, Hispanics, Afro americans and Asians.
Simply put, America is a nation open to all members of the world because it is a nation for ,mostly, all members of the world.

Nigeria ,on the contrary, is a black nation open ( and only appealing) to only Nigerians.

It will take a lot for Nigeria to suddenly be thrust into the affairs of the international world.
The best we can hope for is to gain some credibility in our recently assummed standing amongst African Nation.

Still i do believe there is Hope for this petulant country of ours.

I only think such freedom and hope lies more in pursuing a future which will resemble the docile but incredible delightful country of Canada and less in the energetic excesses of a country which would dare to lead by example and love despite it's occasional flaws.