I spent the night awake. Literally.
There was no electricity, for the first part of the night. A scheduled blackout, I think- but that did not stop me.
I have been ill over the last few days, down with a virus and a fever for a couple, unable to sleep well, causing my lover untold grief because I will not take drugs as I should, and he has to cajole and beg and tease me till I do take them. But that did not stop me.
Neither did the thought of missing him in bed, as I was glued to the television, and searched the internet.
The day of the results of the elections in the
The fever burnt itself out, and my lover retired to bed alone. He spent the night alone, (I know, he will take his revenge, but I am too fired up to sleep now). I was glued to the internet sites showing the results of the election. Electricity came back on, and I put on the television, and then it went off. And I continued looking for the news on the internet, watching the results, my heart in my mouth, too fired up to think of sleeping.
The battery on my laptop gave out, and I changed to another. That one also gave out too, and, reluctantly, I packed off and went to bed. I was there less than ten minutes, and, when my lover went to the bathroom, I realized I was seeing light from outside. Electricity was back.
He found me trekking back to the sitting room.
The situation was comic. I was supposed to be sick. I had refused to go to bed, and, when I went, I decided to leave almost immediately- to watch the television.
He stood in the doorway, barring me. I told him I was having nothing of that. It was simple. I could not sleep. I wanted to know what was happening in the election in the
I watched the results.
Learnt where a few of the States of the
I was on the net when
I watched it all. When McCain conceded. And the tears of Jesse Jackson, and the joy of the black people of
Barack Hussein Obama.
To me, in
When I look in the mirror, all my prejudices spill over. To me, he is the son of a Luo man, a Kenyan, an African. He is a politician, and in a continent which has seen the likes of Mugabe, Museveni, Moi, Amin, Mobutu, that is like saying he is shit- human dung. Makers of big promises, betrayers of their people, thieves of hope- those are my prejudices of the humans we call politicians in
Yet, he is the one politician who seems to tear prejudices apart.
I listened to his speech. It was pretty. Later, in bed, failing to sleep, I tuned on BBC fm, and listened to excerpts of the speech again.
Soaring rhetoric indeed. A gifted speaker, a man whose voice holds the crowd, embraces it, weaves the magic of the moment in the words he says. But beyond the sound are the words, the meaning. Beyond the charisma lies a substance which my cynical mind dares to embrace.
Yes we can.
His is an inspirational story, this son of
His parentage, his humble beginnings, his meteoric rise.
It could not have happened in
Possibly only in
He inspires me, yet I would not like to be an American. It is not home.
He gives me the sense, the feel, that it may be hard, but it is possible, to be African, and an achiever. To be gay and Ugandan. To be poor, but resourceful. He inspires me.
I look at the daunting problems facing me and mine, and I cannot help but feel that being what I am, coming to a realization of the fullness of my promise, walking and stumbling and falling, and getting up to walk again- that all that is possible.
He talked of the 106 year old black woman, born generations ago, who voted him as president. That woman was born in a world where she could not vote both because she was black, and because she was a woman. But, in this election, she had had the chance to vote for a black person, and a woman.
Yes we can. Change, yes we can.
We can believe in ourselves. I can believe in me. I can rise beyond the constrains of my world, the puny jealousies and narrow minded of the many who believe me less than I am, and say, yes I can. I can be so much more than what I am, because it is possible.
An inspiring leader. Yes, we can.
We can rise beyond the narrow bands of the cynicism that constrain our expectations.
Indeed, to my American friends, yours is a great and inspiring country. Of course you are human. Your failings are very, very human. But, as Barack Hussein Obama put it, Yes you can Change, and that may be the greatest and best of human qualities. Thanks for showing us the way.
Yes we can.