Obama tells us that, yes, we still can

18 July 2018 - 06:32 By Caiphus Kgosana
Former US president Barack Obama delivers the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on July 17 2018
Former US president Barack Obama delivers the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on July 17 2018
Image: Masi Losi

“Yes we can. Yes we can,” chanted the excited crowd that packed the Wanderers Stadium as former United States president Barack Obama stood up to deliver the centennial edition of the annual Nelson Mandela lecture on a cold winter’s afternoon.

He paused and smiled to acknowledge them and, in true Obama style, went on to deliver another oratorical masterpiece.

The former US head of state rebuked the current world order, saying racial and gender discrimination were still prevalent despite economic and social advances that have been made.

“Women and girls around the world continue to be blocked from positions of power and authority. They are still paid less than men for doing the same work,” he said to raucous applause.

He told the crowd, which included Mandela’s widow, Graca Machel, and President Cyril Rampahosa, that he was inspired by Mandela’s vision, and urged those who have to give more to those who do not have instead of acquiring things they do not need.

subscribe