he anti Obama attacks based on his healthcare proposals, where he has been labelled un-American by some quarters in the USA, these occuring concurently with riots in Kampala over Kabaka’s planned visit to Kayunga that was stopped by government gives new meaning to the saying ‘there is no place like home.
It is a timely lesson for Obama that he should never forget his father’s land, his roots.
In Africa they have another proverb that says, when you migrate, you do not uproot the pumpkin. In otherwords, when you leave, you might find yourself back to the same place, and this un-uprooted pumpkin might be the food that will keep you going in that dark hour.
It is only in Africa, Obama’s real fattherland, that he has not met such bitter racist type of criticism. A child remains a child at home, however nasty they might appear. That is how Africa percieves Obama.
Coming back closer to home in Kampala, the riots have left me thinking about how vital is our cultural diversity. This cultural variety is God given, and it is time we shifted attitudes and began to appreciate and uphold these historic divisions that have nurtured and knit the society we are today.When we talk about eradicating tribes, languages, we are actually attempting to eradicate identities that have existed for generations! We should find ways of upholding the same.(Ofcourse there are some practices that are abusive, but we do not want to throw away the baby with the bathwater!)
I am reminded of an incident that happened here in Kampala not so long ago, where a man and woman separated after giving birth to three children, one boy and two girls. Now, these children had been so attatched to their Maternal side (what they call in Luganda the Kojjas), because of the abusive behaviour of ther father who had taken another wife and abandoned their mother..So all property, friendships, hopes,etc were with their maternal side.
Even during the marriage process of one of the girls, it was her uncle from her mother’s side who took the bridal gifts meant for her father! Her father never attended her give away! Such was the intensity of the gap in between.
However, things turned out so bad a few months back,and these people called their ‘maternal relatives’ ,got into sharp quarels over land and finances that one of these children had borrowed. The whole maternal side turned aginst them, and they were real treated like outcasts.Their property was grabbed by their maternal uncle, and their aging mother left homeless. What cruelty!
Obama is suffering the same fate in America. He has not wanted to identify himself so much with Kenya or with Africans, but with comments that have began, labelling him now un-American, I think he has to think more deeply about appreciating his real roots before it is too late.
One’s paternal roots should never be taken for granted.