By Deng Vanang
Dismissed as a liar, impersonator of Holy God and a son of a poor carpenter, Joseph – Jesus Christ was physically and verbally abused by His Jewish people until he was given a second thought as the true son of the living God long after he breathed his last on a rough wooden cross at Calvary.
The Nuer’s Prophet, Ngundeng Bong traveled similar rough terrain. He was known to have foretold the independence of South Sudan and the entire difficult trajectory – before and after independence – the country painfully irked along, was earlier on dismissed as mad boy and most elders surrounding him late in life stubbornly refused to adhere to his prophetic counsels.
In his first time to come home and roost in 1989, none cast a second glance at a poor black and white half cast American bogged down by weight of a mixed bag of a little more than odds and ends by the side of his grandmother, Sahara Obama.
A lost boy in search for an unknown motherland called Kenya while he traveled in dusty back streets and alleys of Nairobi in a comic, ramshackle saloon car. With torn-smelly sofas was his cozy bed to lay his head on over nights in a dingy sitting room. That is several years ago.
Today, Barack Hussein Obama is a dashing darling of both high and lowly. The powerful man on earth as the President of the only world’s super power America before whom every soul kowtows in awe. As well as a supper rock star before whom every Dick, Tom and Harry looks up in ecstatic adoration.
It is this new and special status since he first saw and finally conquered the Oval office each and every part of the world craves to identify with in a mad rash to slice a piece of him. This is albeit the glaring and more tragic home truths that came on his way in a long journey to history.
That his father graced only single liner sentence in once popular Nairobi Times newspaper when mangled dead in a pick up on Elgon road, Upper Hills in Nairobi on fateful day of November, 23rd 1982. With no fond memories to leave behind as adversely eulogized by his closer colleagues and buddies as nothing than dawn to dust drunkard and a chain womanizer.
Nevertheless, he was an academic icon in Kenya‘s architectural history as the most prestigious Harvard educated economist. Who conceived of what is today Kenya’s dazzling beauty via tourism industry and physical infrastructure in form of roads, aviation, harbor, electricity, railways and name it. The conferences epicenter Bomas of Kenya and sky scrapping Hilton Hotels are his additional cultural master pieces.
While Obama Junior both closer home and a broad remains the epic battle ground each of his rivaling and expansive Obama clans in Kenya doesn’t want to cede to the other in custody rights. Wars over Obama‘s much contested ownership never end there and then either.
Anglo-Saxons view him as their own making courtesy of his Irish maternal father and mother. Kenya holds him as the dearest apple in the irreplaceable eye sight. While Lou community in particular sees his American presidency as the miraculous embodiment of a long sought after Presidency it is repeatedly denied of clinching right here in Kenya.
To South Sudanese, South Sudan is his cradle from which his Luo ancestors left Kenya due to a minor in house dispute to which he could bring the illusive peace deal at the ongoing IGAD’s peace talks in Addis Ababa. For Africans, he is a true son of the soil born of a Kenyan father. As much as Asia where Obama is a step son of an Indonesian man with his name sake town in Japan called Obama. For Arab and Muslim world, Obama is the Muslim hiding behind a Christian shrine.
All this history makes part of Obama’s life as a child of disdainful contrasts and flowery destiny. He was born of an atheist mother and free – wheeler father, commended one Kenyan writer in the Saturday Daily Nation newspaper. But became more of a disciplined child and proud of his heritage of a poor country in the dark African continent.
Craned out his long neck to even crave for a stake in who is who American politics when he could instead be hunted down as an Arab –Islamic terror suspect by a racist white police in what is highly regarded as the country of white aristocrats. He is pauper who boldly held a torch against moneyed white billionaires with history to boot in a straight fight over a house, originally and deliberately painted white the only white rulers.
Deng Vanang is a Journalist and the author of South Sudan the Making of a Nation, a Journey from Ethnic Polities to Self-rule, State and Democracy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.