It is ‘third time around’ for the homeboy. This time, for business: Global Entrepreneurial Summit, Kenya. Besides the scourge and travails of coming from one of the minority races in the land of opportunities, Barrack Obama pursued his dreams to power amidst numerous challenges. There were successes recorded too; but none of them, according to his autobiographical account was given or thrust on him. He achieved them by dint of hard work and determination that stood firm for success.
The tremendous work he did in Chicago attracted support to him to become the state’s congressman and later a senator. Though he was not the first black senator but he became the first black senator that became the 44th president of the United States of America in 2009.
Commentators on his ascendancy to power always refer to his speech at the California Democrat’s convention in 2004 to be the catalyst to his recognition of his capacity and political endowment to lead the party. No other person than the present Secretary of State, John Kerry facilitated the momentum.
His citizenship and legitimacy to contest the presidency under US constitution was challenged to the Supreme Court and he won. Also his religious life was called into question, with his Church Pastor Jeremiah Wright castigated, when he was accused of making racial comment. The alleged racial comment adversely influenced many to believe that Obama being a member of his church would be unsuitable to become neutral and unbiased president.
However, it was one of the Pastor’s sermon that Obama used with slight adaptation, as title to his best seller book: “Audacity of Hope”. Like the late minister and motivational author, Dr Myles Munroe noted: “Success is determined by the opposition a man has encountered and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.” The opposition against Obama’s candidacy was almost overwhelming, especially from Republican Party and far right groups. Yet Obama overcame all those odds.
Sometimes negative publicity meant to pull someone down do turn out to be beneficial. Napoleon Hill, that great author of “Think and Grow Rich” said: “Every adversity, every failure brings with it the seed of even greater benefit”. Obama’s case proved that. When he rose from the ashes of that religious controversy and allegation that he was not a Christian due to his Kenyan family background, mostly non-christians, he became strong enough to contest the presidency.
His election thereafter broke the jinx that the White House was meant for white persons only. His swearing-in was performed twice, which made his presidency unique. When a former White House staff, Sarah Fagen referred to him as “a lame duck” he looked the other way and went ahead to introduce a new tradition “Easter Prayer Breakfast” at the White House. Christian leaders across American states gathered in attendance.
Obama’s administration has been stormy and challenging especially assuming office at the peak of global economic melt-down. Even though he commenced with democrat’s majority at the congress and representatives, he soon lost them to the Republicans due to mid-term elections. He was fortunate to garner enough support to pass the Obamacare Health Insurance meant to extend health care to more ordinary Americans who could not afford better health care than ever before. Since the law came into force he had not slept with his two eyes closed because Republicans have threatened to repeal the law. Litigations towards achieving the repeal commenced more than a year ago and just some weeks ago the president triumphed. But John Boehner, Republican speaker in spite of the Supreme Court decision in favor of Obamacare said, “it is still Aluta Continua”.
That is not the only success visible on the screen. The first Latino Supreme Court judge in the name of Sonia Sotomayor nominated by Obama and confirmed by congress came with criticisms which were also overcome.
His campaign promise to close Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp where terrorist and dangerous suspects were detained lingered on into his second term because of much controversy that trailed the decision. Yet he overcame.
No less controversial was his nomination of Loretta Lynch as Attorney-General. The criticism and opposition that trailed the nomination manifested in the dilatory atmosphere that pervaded the congress. As the nomination tarried, it became quite clear that the congress never liked Mr President’s candidate a bit.
As Obama visits Africa the third time he would be fondly remembered for being the first sitting American president to visit Ethopia. Besides, his administration has maintained a policy of strengthening and empowering regional and sovereign nations to embrace and practice liberal democracy, through training, collaboration and exchange of policies and ideas. Those are the value Africa must take from his visit.


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