The emergence of President Barack Obama of the United States as a force in world politics, and as a voice in calling for unity in a world struggling with the role of religion in public life and international co-existence, has been discussed in as many a voice as there are religions in the world. His call for reason and understanding among world people (today, 6/4/2009, in Cairo, Egypt) comes at a time when in Palestine, Indonesia, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan religious purists are fighting to dominate their people’s political agenda.
President Obama is fighting what experts now agree to be a war for the people’s minds and souls, and he perhaps is the best man in the world for the role—having been brought up under a milieu of religious doctrines, lives with kin of different religions, and has been a victim (politically) of religious stigma and bigotry because of the words of his fellow faithful, and the religions of his kin.
Is this man of peace, the same man about whom a rebel Catholic Priest, Johana Owalo of the Luo Nomiya Church prophesied in 1912? Is President Obama the man who would destroy America in 2012 ? Were some meanings of Luo words and thought lost in the translation of Owalo’s Luo words?
I think Owalo’s thought and choice of words were influenced by his rebel religious philosophy and the Luo independent streak that led him to break away from European Christianity to start his “Luonized Christian Church” known as Luo Nomiya Church (Luo I Was Given Church, which borrowed heavily from a monotheistic Luo religious tradition). Though under the yoke of British imperialism, which already had built a railway line connecting Kisumu and Mombasa, thus opening Kenya’s hinterland to a fast-spreading Christian Religion, it is curious that he prophesied of America as the land that would be destroyed by a Luo (which some people have claimed to be President Obama). Though his prophecy has been part realized close to 100 years later (a son of a Luo sits in the White House at this time as America’s 44th President)—the possibility that Obama would “destroy” the United States in 2012 may be far-fetched, unless Owalo used the word ”to destroy” to mean to” fundamentally change” how America governs herself and runs her economy, and how Americans view culturally divisive matters. People have called President Barack Hussein Obama a transformational figure, with an ambitious people-centered (read socialist by some) agenda. Of course his governing agenda is ambitious, and has a tongue that can sell water to the ocean. But the idea that he would destroy his American homeland is far fetched. His governance style will remain at the center because a Luo is known for the art of compromise, respect for peers, and worship of precedence. A Luo sticks to tradition (excuse my Luo Pride).
So when Father Owalo said that a Luo would “destroy America” in 2012, he perhaps had used the word “ketho” which can mean “to pollute” politically or socially, like a boy polluting the mind of a “virgin girl;” “disorganize,” as in “disorganizing an opponent’s military plan.”
Rest easy folks, a Luo is in charge (Excuse Me!).
Author of THE LUO DREAMERS’ ODYSSEY (https://www.createspace.com/3373494). This novel is historical Fiction about the Luo, how they view the New President’s journey, and The Luo (Ajwang’) Prophecy on the emergence President Obama