Obama admits he was fired up by Ostallos Siziba’s “rousing” introduction
Former United States President Barack Obama yesterday showered praises on Gift “Ostallos” Siziba, one of the young and upcoming political leaders in Zimbabwe, after he made a rabble-rousing speech introducing the former president at the Democracy Forum in New York.
The forum was hosted by the Obama Foundation in partnership with Columbia University and the University of Chicago. It was meant to bring attention to the biggest challenges democratic institutions face today and showcase democracy in action around the world.
Ostallos as one of the beneficiaries of the Obama Foundation, was honoured to introduce the 44th President of the United States who led the country from 2009 to 2017.
After narrating how he became a staunch democracy activist, practicing in Zimbabwe where he said he faced a lot of challenges growing up, Ostallos recognised Obama’s ideas as his inspiration.
He introduced him to the stage.
Obama thanked the Deputy Spokesperson of Zimbabwe’s main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). He also acknowledged the work that Ostallos was doing in safeguarding improving democracy in Zimbabwe.
“Thank you Gift for the rousing introduction. He is getting me fired up backstage,” he said.
“He is getting me excited. Thank you more importantly Gift for all the work that you’re doing to get young people involved in preserving and improving democracy.”
Overwhelmed by the work and passion of the young leaders he was addressing, Obama promised to create more platforms and institutions to enhance democracy.
“Today at the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum, we brought leaders from around the world together to share ideas and discuss ways to strengthen democracy,” he added.
“I’m happy to announce that we’ll be launching a new and expanded Leaders United States program in the coming months that can help more young people put their idealism to work.
“Michelle (his wife) and I are proud to support these young leaders through our work at the Obama Foundation.”
Impressed by Ostallos’ speech, former cabinet Minister Walter Mzembi said:
“Ostallos symbolises what huge talent is at Zimbabwe’s disposal if our politics takes an inclusive trajectory, the Nation Brand reach would be phenomenal! Well done young man for representing Zimbabwe on the global stage.”