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Congratulations Oga Obama!
By Victor Lugala
For centuries, Africans suffered humiliation and dehumanization in the hands of alien poachers. Our tortured history was a heavy burden on our conscience, so we plotted revenge. We did not enlist the continent’s kujurs or juju men to catapult one of us to the white house, but sheer black power and tough wit did it. We can now walk with our heads held high and strut like peacocks. Long time ago, when Africa was still a dot on the world map, some ruthless hunters sailed in high seas all the way from America to the West African coast in search of human merchandise. They raided villages and took away captives, including Kuta Kinte himself.
Our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters were bound in chains like criminals and sold into slavery in America. They were forced into labour as cotton pickers, cane cutters, road builders, and grave diggers. The white slave masters who behaved no better than Kony the Tong tong paramount chief, made our sisters sex slaves and shamelessly sired children with them. Also long time ago, some backpackers crossed the seas from yonder and came to Africa claiming to be explorers. One of them even had the audacity of claiming that he was the first to discover the source of the river Nile. Ah, what a naked lie! You think he didn’t know that the source of the river Nile was part of a territory controlled by the King of Busoga? These so called explorers also called themselves members of the Royal Geographical Society, a polite name for poachers of African reptiles, amphibians and insects.
Then there was one Captain Cook, who was very good at preparing molokonyi soup. But when he traveled through Kiit, Pageri and Magwi on his way to nowhere and everywhere, he claimed he was a relative of the Queen of England. In those days there were no cars, senkes and bicycles in Mogali, people trekked on foot from Kulippa to Juba and Bari. Since Captain Cook claimed he belonged to the clan of the Queen of England, he forced the local Ma’di and Acholi chiefs who were also yes, yes men, to mobilize tribal giants to carry the cook of molokonyi on their shoulders on a sedan chair as he smoked a pipe like a good person. Many years later, after Captain Cook’s bones had rotten and turned into sweet potatoes, a kakwa boy was born to a peasant family somewhere in Ko’buko in Uganda.
The small boy with a running nose was called Idi Amin. His parents were very poor. They couldn’t afford to send their son to school. So the boy shone boots of soldiers in barracks to earn a piece of bread. While brushing the shoes of these soldiers, he heard stories of African villages being forced to carry white men on their heads like firewood. Young Amin also heard that when the white man wanted to blow his nose or spit, he did those dirty wet things on the heads of the African villagers who bore him. I wish they threw him on allele rock. Such stories angered Idi Amin so much that he joined the army to teach the brothers of Captain Cook a lesson they would not forget. One day Amin became a president of his small country which lies south of the Sahara desert and north of the Limpopo river.
One morning, he forced the brothers of Captain Cook to carry him on their delicate shoulders on a five-ton sedan chair as the television cameras rolled. He blew his nose on their heads and spat and smeared their faces with phlegm. And he anointed himself a conqueror of the entire clan of the cooks. While Idi Amin was doing these in his country, one of the descendants of Nyakang, whose ancestors were among the first batch of trans-Malakal- Kisumu, adventures, had conquered a foreign territory. The young Jaluo man from Kisumu, Obama senior, was in America to stuff his head with white man’s book knowledge. But he went a mile further because he read his bible from cover to cover. He was particularly fascinated by the parable of a man who sowed seeds.
He read that an African man of substance was also a broadcaster of seeds. Some would fall on rocks and be eaten by birds. Others would fall on barren ground and not germinate. But some would fall on fertile soil that would yield a bumper harvest. By the time he left America to return to Africa, he had planted a seed of redemption. Even when he died in a grisly road accident, he was a happy man because he was sure that the seed he had planted in America had fallen on fertile soil, and that it would germinate into fruits that would be enjoyed by the whole world.
That fruit is called Obama whose harvest we continue to celebrate from Kisumu to Kansas, and from from Pangeri to pnongpen. I don’t know about the people of Shendi, if they have joined us in the celebration or licking their festered wounds. I don’t know and I don’t care if a nightmare called Ocampo is making uncle scream in his sleep. My mind is drowning in the current euphoria, celebrating the Obama victory. From Fashoda to Kisumu, clansmen and women must be mobilized to attend the inauguration ceremony in January when the ululations of Jaluo women will bounce on the walls of the white house.
Our traditional dancing troupes will graze the grass on the lawn of the white house with their bare feet as they dance to install the jaduong on the world’s biggest nakicholong stool. Chiefs from every hamlet in Africa must mobilize their village peasant farmers and pastoralists to gather gifts for our brother. We cannot afford to go to the white house to congratulate our brother empty handed like misers who lack common sense and courtesy. We want to carry tanks of peanut butter for our sister-in-law who is the brand new first lady.
Bush is going to leave the White House empty, so it is our duty to fill it up for our brother. We are going to redesign the White House to the taste of an African to exhibit the richness of our diversity. We are going to introduce a grass thatched granary full of beans and beads to constantly remind our brother of the Luo mythology where his ancestors came from. We will also use the Jacaranda trees in the White House for tethering the Mundari cows and Toposa goats and sheep. And we shall paint the White House with wet cow dung and etch the walls with African motifs. That done, our wise words to His Excellency shall be: “Oga Obama, now that you are the tenant of white house, make it your permanent home. Even when your cheeks sink in like those of Uncle Mugabe, don’t budge!” it is our time to rule the world. Yes we can!
Victor writes for the Sudan Mirror