If you share the opinion of many Americans and Africans, you would agree Trevor Noah is a hilarious comedian. Hailing from South Africa and fluent in Xhosa, Noah just so happened through his hard work and talent to take over the Daily Show on Comedy Central and make it all his own.
In an episode taped on January 13, 2016, just a day after President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address, Noah discusses how Obama reminded him briefly of the motherland.
The address by the leader of the free world was gangsta to say the least, but reminded us that America, for whatever many complaints we may have of the country, has seen the democratic transition of presidents since its inception.
Unlike African nations including Nigeria until now:
Nigeria – The country saw the first democratic transition of a president only in this past presidential election, between
Badluck Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.
Burundi – The transition to democracy in 2005 is commonly seen as a turning point in Burundi’s history but in 2015, Pierre Nkurunziza was controversially nominated by his party for a third term in office.
Zimbabwe – Robert Mugabe still serves as president, if we should call it that, after 35 years of power.
Central African Republic – C.A.R is currently going through an election process that is marred by ballot irregularities and voter intimidation.
South Africa – Jacob Zuma is head of the African National Congress (ANC) party, and although democratically elected twice in both 2009 and 2014, the ANC party has not seen a fall from being the ruling party since 1994.
These are just a few examples.
As Noah says in Africa when an outgoing president starts talking beyond his term, those are the first signs he is trying to cling to power.
We hope that through our laughter about real sociopolitical circumstances the tide can turn for the better and a clean non-violent democratic transition like seen in Nigeria can continue to be the norm.
Watch the full clip of the show here.