Nobody saw it coming. Even the bookies’ radar had no faintest signal of him. Well, the world listened, surprised and DELIVERED. Barack Hussein Obama is the winner of 2009 Nobel Peace prize for global diplomacy. There could have been no other better way to bait a leader to do great good with his immense power.
That makes 3 Nobel Laureates with more than a passing interest in Kenya’s political problems. Our own Wangari Maathai, Kofi Annan and now Obama are all determined to see Kenyans freed from the suffocating evil grip of impunity.
We must have seen it first by being the only country to declare Obama day last year. We are on the right side of history besides banishing the old adage that a prophet is never revered at home.
And who doesn’t want to be associated with the winner. President Kibaki has performed the necessary rituals claiming it was BEFITTING. Well, maybe that is smart recanting of the protest note last week. It is bad manners to rain on a global party.
So was Obama a worthy winner? True, there were other weighty contenders but Obama's resolve and determination to use his powers for the wider good must have won the votes from the five-member committee. Obama's strength can be captured in the single word INSPIRE. Think dialogue with Iran, N. Korea and Russia and you get the wider picture of international diplomacy at its best.
The Nobel peace prize committee has debunked the enduring myth that the prize is only about accomplishment. Actually the prize was created as much to supply momentum for peace as to celebrate it and they said as much in awarding it to Obama in support of his plans to make the world a better place.
The other 204 nominations for this year's peace prize including Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Chinese dissident Hu Jia may have been unfortunate to run against a PHENOMENON. As the Norwegian selection committee aptly said, it is very rare to have a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.
Put simply Obama has created a new climate in international politics. Predictably Obama's award will invite detractors with equal zeal. Those conversant with American politics, will see Republicans ask why it is Obama after Carter and Al Gore. Well, you don't rig honours, do you?
Obama’s winning the Nobel prize is testimony of what the rare humanity resident in a few can achieve. It may not be the results but the gesture and the will to fight and inspire the world is a priceless asset.
It is one thing to lead but quite another to encapsulate the leadership concept towards steering the world on the premise of values and attitudes that are universally shared. Congratulations Obama.