Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, they did.

The oracle in my gut told me that Barack was going to win. I think it was after he defeated Hilary sometime in the yesteryear mists of the primaries. A year has been a long, long, long time to wait for that gut feeling to prove right. I hope it was just a year, because it felt hella longer. Couldn't find anyone to bet on McCain, which is unsurprising. I haven't won a good bet since South Africa beat New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup in 1995.

The great triumph of Obama, for me, isn't that he's Black (that effing collective term!). The triumph is that he's smart, he's got heart, and best of all he's a first-generation American. I look at my country and think of how far we have to go before someone from a minority could even dare to run for office. To take an extreme example, a Tanzanian president of Asian extraction would be...well, lets just say I won't be seeing any of that kind of history made in my country before I hit the grave. That's the incredibly inspiring, aspirational beauty of America: they could. they did.

It has been fun to watch our Kenyan kin contort themselves into raptures over Obama's victory. It will be just as much fun to watch them realize that Barack is actually American, and as such must put the interests of his country before those of Kenya. I also look forwards to hearing what the local Obamaniacs will have to say as he gets his feet wet, makes an unpopular decision or three, and proves to be a mere mortal. Its one thing to support a candidate, supporting an incumbent though...that's when you plumb the depths of your love.

Much as I admire Obama and stand in awe of his achievement (talk about the courage to live your dream), I find I cannot convert to full adoration until I have seen him do his president thing. The proof of a pudding is in the eating, au siyo? My comfort is that while I wait for Obama to show his presidential colors, I can just dig his wife Michelle on whom I have a major girl-crush. I cannot describe the anticipation I feel at the thought of her being First Lady. If I can't be Morgan Freeman when I grow up, Michelle's a pretty close second choice right now.

While we are on the issue of significant elections, South Africa will be rocking the vote next year. The ANC is splitting along its stress lines, and there is something quite wonderful about a smug formerly-leftist-now-center-right-and-trying-to-deny-it-to-the-public party getting shelled like a pod of fresh peas. CCM might wanna take notes here. And then there's Jacob Zuma: a sexist, entitled, pandering, corrupt, lowest-common-denominator, take-a-shower-to-prevent-HIV-infection, crass little rapist. Incidentally, what's up with those women rallying behind Zuma? What the hell is wrong with them, don't they read crime statistics? South Africa is already Crime Central and they want to compound this by voting in an effing rapist for President?

Can the sane Saffies please stand up and take the national finger off the self-destruct button next year by voting Not Zuma?* What will Madiba do? Can he do anything? Are they so eager to join 'the rest of Africa' as they call us? What happened to learning from others' mistakes? What will South African post-Apartheid political history illustrate about the challenges of state-building and governance in contemporary Africa? There's a paper lurking somewhere in there.

*To all Manuel fans, lets get some Trevor for President t-shirts printed up. Its obvious that they should have picked him on the basis of competence, but he's the wrong shade of Not Black Enough. Also, he's gone imfandworldbanky and is all about seriously liberatin' the economy. But we love him anyways, right? Ten responses and we might have a print run. Go ahead Crazy Pet Lady, you know you want to.

A little birdie told me...

Follow MikocheniReport on Twitter