By Judy Munyinyi-Mumo
Following my article last week on whether Barack Obama deserved to get the Nobel Peace Prize, my inbox was inundated with emails from American readers seeking to know whether I have proof that Obama was really born in Kenya.
If he was born in Kenya, they theorise, he is therefore not entitled to claim American citizenship and the presidency of the United States.
I could not help laughing at those emails, most displaying a naivetÃ and lack of understanding of this sentence from last weekâs article: "It seems Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States of America (via a sleepy village in Kenya called Nyangâoma KâOgelo) can do no wrong."
To all the skeptics out there, here is one inescapable fact. There was a Barack Hussein Obama born in Kenya. He is the father of your president. He was a black man from black Africa. The name and the person Barack Hussein Obama Sr, came from a sleepy village in Kenya called Nyangâoma Kogelo.
And here is another inescapable truth: the fact that Barack Hussein Obama Jr was born in Hawaii has already been proved beyond doubt by your own government. He is a US citizen. His election a year ago and his popularity around the world baffled many Americans but the fact remains he is entitled to be president. Get over it, you conspiracy theorists and people of dubious intelligence who cannot accept your country is led by a person of African descent. Obama has been examined under your microscope for at least two years. If there was proof to the contrary, wouldnât you have found it by now?
For the record, my article did not question whether the US President began his life here in Kenya. The gist was that the President of the United States is a man who can seemingly do no wrong. His words and deeds since he took office, his visits to various parts of the globe have helped to change the image we have of America and Americans.
The questions I posed are paraphrased thus:
â¢ How can we create a better, more sustainable world? I believe I read somewhere that Americans consume over 50 per cent of all global resources, and they will need to lead the way in all spheres (military, scientific, political, and economic) to reduce the strain placed on our global ecosystem.
â¢ Can President Obama succeed in changing America and thus the world? Will the Americans let him, I wonder? If the Americans cannot agree on something as fundamental as healthcare for all, something that even a poor nation like Kenya strives to provide for its citizens, can these most wasteful of human beings accept a change in lifestyle, even for their own good? Only time will tell.
I admire how Obama has dealt with the various circumstances and difficulties destiny has sent his way.
I think about the American side of his family. Did his mother have any idea how great her son was going to become? I feel for him, knowing that his mother, Ann, grandfather Stanley, and especially his maternal grandmother, Madelyn, who died just two days before his historic election victory, never lived to see their son become one of the greatest men in the world. I feel sad he has to live with the knowledge that none of the people who brought him up were alive to see that moment. The American side of his life needs to be honoured and celebrated, just as we celebrate his Kenyan roots.