News Column

Kenyans Celebrate Obama's Win 'As Their Own'

Nov. 8, 2012

The Standard website


Kenyans celebrated U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election and described his victory as their own owing to his Kenyan roots.

In Kibera slums [Nairobi, largely populated by ethnic Luos, the tribe of Obama's father], residents congregated at Kamukunji Grounds to celebrate. They had been following the election on television in their houses and at a local social hall before they poured to the open field where their leaders delivered speeches to congratulate Obama.

The leaders said they planned to march to Nairobi streets to celebrate the victory.

"This is a sign of good things to come to Kenya. President Obama is our brother and we are happy for his victory. We hope our leaders are watching how the campaigns and elections were conducted," said Mr Michael Otieno.

More security

Others pledged to ensure peace prevails in the area ahead of the general election in 4 March, 2013 in honour of the re-election of the U.S. president.

Police said crowds had also gathered in sections of Mathare slums, Babadogo, Huruma and city centre to discuss the re-election of Obama.

Nairobi Area police boss Moses Ombati said they had provided more security to mapped areas since Tuesday [6 November] night.

"We knew there had been crowds following this exercise keenly and we had to deploy well incase the results elicited emotions. We are happy with the results," said Mr Ombati.

In the city centre, crowds gathered at Jevanjee Gardens and outside Nakumatt City Hall branch to discuss the US elections while others predicted implications of the Obama win.

Beyond racism

And, the Muslim and Christian community in Mombasa said Obama's win was a great lesson to the warring communities in Kenya ahead of the general election. Mombasa Catholic Archdiocese Vicar-General Fr Willfard Lagho and the chairman of the Kenya Muslim Advisory Council, Shaykh Juma Ngao said the US president's re-election went beyond racism and other factors.

Ngao urged Kenyans to respect the candidates based on their agenda for the country and stop lining up their tribesmen to take over leadership. Elsewhere, there was excitement in Nakuru town following Obama's re-election.

The residents lauded the Americans for displaying political maturity. Mr Jack Kimani said the U.S. president should use his second term in office to focus more on the African continent, which he had largely ignored during his first term in office.

Source: (C) 2012 BBC Monitoring Africa. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved

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