Nairobi, Jan.21 (ANI): People in Kenya, the country from where Barack Obama's father hailed, have welcomed his elevation as the 44th President of the United States.
Millions of people around the country thronged giant TV screens or crammed into bars to watch the inauguration of a man viewed as Kenya's best hope of a prosperous and happy future. According to The Times, Obama's success is being viewed here as something to enjoy, savor and use to propound a message of unity in an otherwise fractured country.
Kepha Ngito, who runs youth projects in Kibera, was quoted by the paper as saying: "This is something all Kenyans can enjoy. It doesn't matter what tribe you belong to. This is for all of us."
"Now he is president we will get food and jobs," added Ochieng, as he danced to the traditional music that replaced the planned show.
All week Kenya had been gearing up for Obama's moment of glory. Newspapers have published souvenir editions, countless goats have been slaughtered for the party and a popular local brew, Senator beer, has been renamed President for the occasion.
The Kenya National Theatre even revived its hit show Obama The Musical, which wowed sell-out audiences during the US election last year. It uses parallels with the Bible Story and Obama's own struggles with racism and drugs - documented in his memoir Dreams From My Father - to portray the incoming President as a saviour for downtrodden peoples of the world.
Kenya is a country in need of a saviour.
Last year 600,000 people were left homeless by the violence that followed disputed presidential elections. This year some 10 million are at risk of hunger, prompting the government to declare a national emergency last week.
In Kogelo, the tiny village that the Obama family calls home, thousands thronged the grounds of the local school as Kenyans took a day off work to party.
Luo dancers from Obama's tribe draped in monkey skins put on a traditional show, while onlooker waved American flags.
Here the benefits of the Obama presidency are already being felt. The government moved quickly after his November victory to bring modern amenities to the tiny homestead that had been left behind by the 21st century. (ANI)