POLITICS

Obama Says Men Have Been 'Getting On My Nerves Lately'

The former president encouraged women to get involved in politics at a town hall in South Africa.

Former President Barack Obama wants more women to get involved in politics ― for a good reason. 

During a town hall in Johannesburg on Wednesday, a woman from Kenya asked Obama for his advice on how to get involved in politics in a country riddled with corruption. His answer was honest and to the point.

“Women in particular ... I want you to get more involved,” Obama told the crowd. “Because men have been getting on my nerves lately.

“I mean, every day I read the newspaper and I just think like, ‘Brothers, what’s wrong with you guys? What’s wrong with us?’” he continued. “I mean, we’re violent, we’re bullying. You know, just not handling our business. So I think empowering more women on the continent ― that right away is going to lead to some better policies.”

The former president spoke at an event hosted by The Obama Foundation. About 200 young professionals from the African Leadership Academy attended the 90-minute event.

After answering the Kenyan woman’s question, Obama added that there are many “different ways in which you can effectuate change.” 

“The one thing you can’t do is pretend that politics doesn’t matter and say to yourself ‘that’s too corrupt, that’s too broken, I’m not going to get involved in it,’” Obama said. “Because at some point, if you are ambitious about what you are doing in your home country, you will confront politics.”

Watch the full video of Obama’s town hall below. 

CONVERSATIONS