I have just woken up to the amazing news that a black man has been elected President of the USA, and I am in bits. As a South African, who witnessed Nelson Mandela become President of South Africa in 1994, I know just how good Americans are feeling right now. We embraced change then, and you have embraced change now. In the words of our great President on his inauguration in Pretoria:
The time for the healing of the wounds has come.
The moment to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.
The time to build is upon us.
We have, at last, achieved our political emancipation. We pledge ourselves to liberate all our people from the continuing bondage of poverty, deprivation, suffering, gender and other discrimination.
We succeeded to take our last steps to freedom in conditions of relative peace. We commit ourselves to the construction of a complete, just and lasting peace.
We have triumphed in the effort to implant hope in the breasts of the millions of our people. We enter into a covenant that we shall build the society in which all South Africans, both black and white, will be able to walk tall, without any fear in their hearts, assured of their inalienable right to human dignity – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world.
I think that Barack Obama has succeeded in implanting hope. He will be an amazing leader – dignified, strong, decisive, humane, compassionate – very unlike the kinds of leaders that the world has seen in the last eight years. I hope this is not only a new era in the USA but a new era of leadership in the world. I also think there are going to be some amazing parties in Chicago and all over the USA tonight!
PS: Thanks to the American nation, I will never dye my hair again. I’m going grey with Obama.
I’m posting this as part of the Virtual Post-Election Bash, being hosted by the wonderful Diane of Martinis for Two. Check out the other bloggers who are taking part:
Claire (Great Britain)
G in Berlin (Germany)
Ian in Hamburg (Germany)
Princess Extraordinaire (U.S.)