I walked past a coffee shop in Sea Point in the late afternoon and they had their televisions on CNN broadcasting the inauguration of the first US President of African descent. I am one of the few people who are missing out on this historical occasion, because when I moved with my son to our own place, buying a television was not among our priorities.
Since his election Barack Obama featured prolifically in South African news and media. And while South African media rarely pays attention to foreign political events, Obama features strongly, perhaps even more strongly than our caretaker president Kgalema Motlanthe. Mr. Obama has us riveted because of his African descent and his powerful message to the world.
For me Obama is a little bit of hope in a hopeless world. Perhaps his policies will not differ much from other Democrat presidents, perhaps he won’t be able to do a lot for the Middle East, and he certainly will not be able to save the world as we all would like him to do. But we will always remember that he delivered us from the insanity of George W. Bush.
On a more personal level, he is the “the voice”. I love listening to him speak. That is why, again, it was a shame that I missed his inaugural speech. I will have to settle for its highlights on the internet.