‘We as a people shall get to the promised land’

Martin Luther King Jnr made the above statement on April 3, 1968. The said statement is both prophetic and inspiring. When Barack Obama was sworn in as President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009, Martin Luther King Jnr’s prophecy was fulfilled. Individuals are mortal but people as an entity are capable of self renewal. Martin Luther King Jnr, as a person is dead and buried, but on January 20, 2009, a Black man took the highest office in United States of America.

Moses Tsimukeni Mahlangu

The lesson from Martin Luther King Jnr’s wise words can be applied to almost every sphere in life. Imagine a poor man dying in abject poverty, only to have his offspring being endowed with immeasurable wealth. A good pastor siring a malcontent or vice versa.

Alternatively, the meaningfulness of life should not be measured by an individual’s life performance or accomplishments. An old adage says life is like a wheel, no side of the wheel is always at the top or bottom, as it rotates. Another saying is to the effect that those who live in glass houses should always remember how fragile glasses are, hence the need to have good relations with their neighbours or the passers-by. As you climb up the ladder of success, always remember that the ladder used to get to the top may be removed leaving one at the mercy of the people at the bottom to serve as a cushion to fall on.

The American creed of; “Out of many, one” or “Out of one, many”. Many people can be one if they choose or one can be many by way of expounding a philosophy or ideology that turns out to impress and capture everyone.

What does it take to be Barack Obama, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo, Kenneth Kaunda and Thomas Sankara.
Obama brought a paradigm shift, civil rights groups, lost revenue gained from marketing the adverse effects of racism. On the other hand, white Americans saw a promising, peaceful future under Obama. Mandela ushered in a rainbow nation, where one’s skin is not a passport or barrier to opportunities.

The philosophies of son/ daughter of the soil and humanism were the hallmarks of Father Zimbabwe, Joshua Nkomo and Kenneth Kaunda. Not much is said about the late former Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara for fear his philosophy may incite citizens into demanding simple lifestyles from their leaders.

Politicians by nature thrive on big enemies against whom they can define themselves. A good example are the lobbyists, special interests, and the media, to name a few. Obama chose a different target group, namely, the national mood, a jaded disposition. The American economy had suffered eight years of warfare-induced ruin. Vengeance had substituted foreign policy. He used this strategy to win the confidence of millions of sceptical voters, who never had even thought of voting for black person. By challenging cynicism, Obama challenged both whites and blacks. Black Americans were asked to move out of demeaning history into believing that one of them can be President. This called for both audacity and huge reserves for hope. The white American was fed up of perpetual warfare, hence need for a paradigm shift, especially on foreign policy.

At the right time, Obama proposed the “Yes we can” catch phrase, coupled with his theme “Change you can believe in”.
Those inclined to political adventures need to read the national mood and the worn out tendency or inclination of the electorate with a view to capitalising and whipping on the same.

Moses Tsimukeni Mahlanguwrites in his own capacity and can be reached on zucwuhq@gmail.com for comments.

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