Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A lesson for the rest of us.

A democracy in action.

The election, a grueling, telling ordeal. The primaries, where a woman challenged male privilege, and nearly won.

The last fight, when two behemoths slogged it out in public and private, each deploying armies of citizens.

And the win. A minority man, a groundbreaking historical moment. An orator in the old mould, and new- a man of the moment, ready to use the best of his country’s human resources to tackle very new and old problems.

A change of the regime, in the best democratic tradition- and the nation and the world is watching.

A very compelling story. A very, very compelling story.

So un-African, though many of us will have the audacity to claim the main actor. Right now in Zimbabwe, the same old farce is being re-enacted. We are being held out to the whole world like we are stupid, other citizens. Oh yes, there is a lot of bitterness to dish around for the likes of Mugabe.

But, that distracts us from the moment.

The ideals that make our communities human and humane can be made workable. Democracy, a strange ideal. So funny when you think of the whole in- and out fighting that charactarises our political interaction. But it can be made to work. Even if sometimes it does fail, and fail badly. What seems not to work well is the deification of any single human being. Yet, for some reason we seem to consistently do that, time after time. Seems as if it is the default, before we consider putting our faith in ideals.

I am an African. Faith in ideals is usually a misplaced concept. A dream. Too many of us dream dreams, but- few of those dreams survive the hard reality of our continent, our world.

But, and- Yes, we can. Dream, and follow those dreams. Accept, and embrace the fullness of our largesse, the problems, the upset ideals, and the dreams of a common humanity.

Indeed it is a huge lesson for me, in Uganda. In Africa.

And for most of the world.

Good luck America. Good luck Obama.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget, that responsability is never only by persons like Mugabe and many many others, even the crews around of them!

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