Saturday, November 6, 2010

African Lessons for an American President

Charles Onyango-Obbo had a few things to say to Obama about his "mishandling" of the mid-terms while skewering us for our East African political maladies in his sharply hilarious way. Here's a snippet from his Facebook Notes:

"There are a few things Obama would be told if he had spoken to any president in Africa. He would have been told that first, he should have transported about two million Africans to vote for the Democrats (and worried about their refusal to return home after the vote later). That is what we do, we transport voters across constituency lines.

Secondly, as president of the world’s richest country (although its fortunes are in decline) he would have been told to break into the Federal Reserve, get all the dollars there, and buy votes. If there were no dollars, he would have been advised to print the money. What is a president for, if he can’t print money?

Thirdly, we didn’t hear any news that he transferred the officials in the Federal Electoral Commission, and appointed a Kenyan cousin to the job. Incredible. How can you go into an election without your man in charge of the electoral commission? (Maybe this a Kenyan problem, because I see President Kibaki is also now confused, and appointed some Somali, not a Kikuyu from Nyeri, to head the electoral commission. And we were told he stopped drinking. I think the Baks is sipping something strong under the covers, and it is messing his head)."

I had to wait until the elections were over to post this, for obvious reasons. Incidentally, FaceBook Notes make for an excellent alternative blogging platform.


  1. A clever piece from Mr. Onyango, but mi naona kama he is oversimplifying our "distorted democracy". Barack has a fairly educated population which cannot be manipulated easily, and press that is fairly independent (ukitoa MSNBC/FOX/HUFFPOST/DRUDGE) most of the press is responsible. They don't have the Uhurus or Tanzania Daimas of this end. And most important, Barack and his opponents are running for office knowing kwamba kuna kushinda na kushindwa. Sasa Mr. Onyango inabidi ajue kwamba ili demokrasia iwe na msumeno, him and his buddies (journalists) have to lead the course, halafu hawa wanasiasa inabidi waelewe kwamba kuna kushinda na kushindwa. And above all, mwananchi wa kawaida has to know what his/her vote means. Kienyewe, democracy with an informed people is a tyranny.

    Love your blog mshkaji. Fresh perspectives. Its not really nerdy but it ain't dumbed down either.

  2. welcome back from sasatel customers.

  3. @Anonymous: Thank you kindly, mshikaji. Karibu, don't be a stranger. Sasa, our problem is, media folks need someone to keep them honest just like anybody else. Personally, I think our education system is letting the team down- honestly if people could access knowledge in a more reasonable manner and we upped our literacy rates almost all our problems would solve themselves. Nice Kiswanglish by the way, it's always nice to meet other fluent speakers of the tongue ;)

    @SwahiliStreet: giggle. you're causing again.

    @Barak: Hey! Great to see you. Gonna check you out now, been too long a time. Yeah, Charles sure does know how to sting. Heh.


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