Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama and Mandela

In 1994 I stood 5 meters behind my new President, Nelson Mandela, as he gave his acceptance speech from the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall. That day I realised that freedom had also come for me and that I was part of a new beginning.

Yesterday, on January 20th, 2009, I could nowhere come close to Obama, but I was in the crowd of 2 million people, watching on big screens as he took the oath of office. Once again I felt so privileged to watch history in the making. For the first time ever there is a President in the White House who speaks, for most part, the language of inclusion, humility and conflict transformation.

I saw old people in wheel chairs, young babies carried by their parents and young people smiling and cheering. I saw flags waving and people enjoying every moment. A day of inspiration. A term of change.

I'm now heading home for South Africa this afternoon, my spirit lifted and my heart full of hope.

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