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I am a believer in pursuing one's passion and enabling others to realize their potential. Working with women and girls is my passion.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Obama Moment that never was

It was a bright September morning and like the rest of the East Africa leaders participating in the Les Aspin Program in 2005, we were excited to finally meet the great man that we so much identified with, Barrack Obama, then a Senator in USA. We were to have a breakfast meeting and we could only be grateful to The director of Les Aspin program for managing to organize this meeting. There was an air of excitement, and nobody was late in boarding the train, actually it was one day that nobody minded leaving the Mariotte Residence Inn in a quorum,- quite a conspicuous quorum of about 17 people- coz we all needed to keep time! All in formal wear we waited at the exit of the train station for the coordinator to pick us for our great breakfast. We each had a lot in mind as to the issues to raise with this man that had become an epitome of hope for the Africa youth who formed 70% of this quorum. Some thought of the issues regarding the foreign policies affecting Africa while for others just having a face to face meeting was enough.

I remember a colleague asking me, "Sophie how do you feel today?"

I had been down with some flu the previous day and had taken the afternoon off with some medication over the counter..."I am better today" I said.

In between the laughter and the jokes, I felt all was not well, and before I knew it, I was seeing stars in darkness and between passing out, fever, short breath and wondering why my friends holding me could not let me sit down on the floor I thought I was about to breath my last. To cut the story short as the others shared breakfast and some talks with the man who was to become the first Black American to be elected in President of the United States of America, I was recuperating at George Washington University Hospital with some two friends who also had to miss the golden moment. Part of my task was trying to help the American medical students to pronounce my surname, Ngugi, but they never came even close!! The medication had not gone down well with my body allergies.

Well, I missed an opportune moment, (but at least I have a photo...) but who knows I may get the opportunity to meet him as the President!! Obama you have done us proud by showing us that "Yes we can", It is possible. I can then start preparing for that moment coz it is said, better to be prepared for an opportunity and miss one than get an opportunity and not be prepared!!

On the other hand, when Obama started making his Presidential ambition to be president, many even in Kenya said, US will never vote for a black president; do I hear 'Kenya is not ready for a woman president?' Oh Yes We Can, Watch this space!!