I Spent an Evening With a Great Leader

Sylvia Wohlfarth
5 min readApr 28, 2019

Obama in Germany, at least we were at the same location

While reading and scanning through my daily Medium posts, a message popped up from the Mission Publication announcing their new post titled:

What Makes a Great Leader?

I initially ignored it as there are a plethora of other posts and topics which interest me more. However, I did later come back to the question as it occurred to me I had actually had the privilege of listening to a world leader less than two weeks previously. And so, I decided to first write something on the topic and answer the question, and then read the said Mission post.

My story began with a short trip to Germany to visit, among others, my son and daughter. It was a spontaneous idea — born out of an invitation to a friend’s 60 birthday party. And so on arrival, I texted my daughter in Cologne and asked if I could stay the following Thursday night with her and her boyfriend.

“Of course, you can mum, we’d love to have you,” came the reply.

Immediately followed by:

“We are, though, going out that evening but you’re very welcome to come with us. In fact, we’d love to take you along. So, we’ll get an extra ticket and give it to you for your birthday which is coming up soon.”

Hmm, wondering where we’d be going, I naturally wrote back and asked.

“To the Lanxess Arena” she answered. Now, this is the biggest mulifunctional location in Germany with a seating capacity of 18500 — My heart sank, so many people, I mightn’t even like the group or show or whatever it was we were going to see.

“What’s on?” I wrote back, feeling my daughter could have been a bit more forthcoming with her information.

“Obama” came the texted reply.

“What’s that?”, I replied thinking it was some new group called the Obamas — seriously — or a comedy show or whatever.

“BARACK!, Barack Obama! Ever heard of him?” I could see my daughter rolling her eyes.

Oh… What?! I was stunned and immediately called her on her mobile for clarification.

Sylvia Wohlfarth

An Irish-Nigerian soul living in Ireland after 40 years in Germany. A social anthropologist, English teacher, and more. With stories to share; and an opinion…