Obama Visit Should Be Declared a Public Holiday
“Change doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.” BARACK OBAMA, DNC speech, Aug. 28, 2008
Remember those days when you see a black face on the US Presidential Debates? President Barack Obama created history by becoming America’s first black president, unfortunately in a country of migrants race still plays a big role and his color became so critical. His roots become interesting too, Kenya gets on to the map when it becomes clear that his father Barack Obama Senior was born in Kogelo, Kenya. Thus, a son of Kenyan becomes the President of America.
Incidentally it is not norm in the African culture for the father to give his son his very own name, but Barack Obama Senior did something new. He set a trend for his son who was going to one-day stun the world with his charisma, ability and achievements.
So once again Kenya is on the map with a visit from the US President and it is the talk of the town at the kiosks, dinner tables, coffee shops and business desks. What is he coming for? How long? Where will he stay? Will we get to see Air Force One? How will he move around to do his necessary meetings? Who is paying the bills? How much will it cost our country?
Personally I am so tempted to line up at Mombasa Road and wave a flag as his motorcade is passing from the airport. I also think it is a smart idea to have a Public Holiday, because we all know our slave driven employers never let you leave early, come late or work from home, I believe only 1% trust you enough to do that. As long as Kenya Power maintains stable power supply, Internet services are working, I propose we stay and work from home. Children going to school can take a break and watch a historical day unfold in Kenya on TV or if they are already at home due to holidays, then no loss still. In fact if their parents are with them, you are giving the family a bonus day.
Listen it is not about escaping work or being lazy. After the recent floods on the roads and terrible traffic delays, imagine what you may have to go through then. This doesn’t mean we have less faith in the City Council or Traffic Police to do a decent job of diverting traffic, but we all know better. For example when US Secretary of State John Kerry was staying at a Westlands Hotel recently over his trip to Kenya and they cordoned off most roads around the area, it was a major jam situation and everyone was experiencing a delay of about 90 minutes easily. Here’s the thing, time is the most valuable thing and when you can use it efficiently then better for you. Don’t waste it on sitting in traffic, getting frustrated and gaining blood pressure.
But a businessman or lady must be thinking I am crazy, imagine the losses they would incur. Well perhaps you can be smart about things, planning should be part of your business anyway so this kind of holiday shouldn’t shut things down completely, but slower or even remain constant. Depending on your business and especially location, you can still get away with keeping the office open. As far as paying overtime is concerned, then again, if you are operating your business legally and value your staff then you will pay them, after all they make your profits for you, so don’t be stingy.
President Obama will not stop the Kenyan economy, think of the long-term gains and not only about us being in the spotlight but financial gains will flow eventually. I realize many are skeptical over the role of mighty America in any country, but here’s something to think of “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost”. -BARACK OBAMA, speech, Aug. 28, 2006