As with most things in life, the highly anticipated visit to Kenya by US President Barack Obama came and went. #KOT through #SomeoneTellCNN used a myriad descriptors to let the media organisation and the world in general know that Kenya is anything but a “hotbed of terror”.
President Obama capitalized on the amazing welcome by President Kenyatta and Kenyans, embracing the stage to give some tough love to citizens including those who hold positions of power.
While some of us would have liked to listen live to the address, the issue of time difference and conflicting schedules leaves us scrambling online for a piecemeal of the historic visit. But we are in luck as Njambi Mungai of Standard Digital Entertainment has summarized a list of the 20 most memorable quotes by Obama in the Kasarani speech Sunday afternoon.
The speech touched on issues that have dogged Kenya in recent years including corruption, terrorism, women and girl empowerment, national unity and youth and development.
- There is no country that is completely free from corruption. The fact is, too often here in Kenya, corruption is tolerated because that’s how it’s always been done.
- Fighting corruption is not just about changing laws. Ordinary people have to stand up and say enough is enough.
- Corruption continues to deny many Kenyans jobs. Every shilling paid as a bribe could be paid to someone who is doing an honest day’s work
- We honor the memory of every Kenyan who has lost a life in the fight against terrorism.
- We are grateful of the progress of AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) and the US faces similar threats of terrorism as Kenya
- Violent extremists want to turn people against each other. The terrorists know that they a minority that cannot win.
On Women and girl empowerment
- Around the world, there is a tradition of oppressing women. Just because something is a tradition does not make it right
- Treating girls and women as second class citizens is a bad tradition, it holds you back
- Communities that give their daughters the same chances as their sons prosper
- Any nation that fails to educate girls is doomed to lag behind in the global economy
On Youth and development
- It is the young people who must take the lead.
- We are connecting young people full of ideas who are not weighed down by ideas from the past.
- You don’t need to look overseas to realize your dreams
- I like the phrase “Yes Youth Can”
On National Unity
- We are all part of one tribe, the human tribe
- We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children
- Progress requires that we honestly confront the dark corners of our past
- Whatever the challenge, you will be stronger if you face it as Kenyans
He signed off with two very heartwarming statements;
- Thirty years ago when I first came to Kenya you made me feel at home…..you still make me feel at home.”
- I am proud to be the first Kenyan to be president of the United States
– Source: www.sde.co.ke/article/2000170505/