Obama and The Baobab Trees


I just finished reading 44th US President Barack Hussein Obama II’s very poignant memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. It is a deep read. It is about a Man, his Bildungsroman, in his own words. As one of the world leaders who had caught my attention as early as 2008, I ended up admiring him and lately idolising him despite knowing that all men have feet of clay. But at the end of the day, a man has got to believe in something, right?

I do not wish to further put in words my thoughts on his very intense memoir. Just quoting a couple of words from his very readable final chapter.

“Truth is usually the best corrective,” Rukia said with a smile. “You know, sometimes I think the worst thing that colonialism did was cloud our view of our past. Without the white man, we might be able to make better use of our history. We might look at some of our former practices and decide they are worth preserving. Others, we might grow out of. Unfortunately, the white man has made us very defensive. We end up clinging to all sorts of things that have outlived their usefulness. Polygamy. Collective land ownership. These things worked well in their time, but now they most often become tools for abuse. By men. By governments. And yet, if you say these things, you have been infected by Western ideology.”


“The same is true of the rule of law, the notion of independent inquiry-these things may conflict with tribal loyalties. You cannot have rule of law and then exempt certain members of your clan. What to do? Again you choose. If you make the wrong choice, then you learn from your mistakes. You see what works.”


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