Eight Kenyan babies, whose birth all coincided with U.S. President Barack Obama’s historic visit in the country, were named after the commander-in-chief. Two babies were named AirForceOne and another was named Junior Barack Obama. Baby girls were named after the first lady and the first daughters, Malia and Sasha.
Speaking with the Daily Nation, Lucy Akinyi Okoth said that she was in the middle of labor when the president arrived in Kenya. Prior to giving birth she had planned to give her son the name Barack Obama Gift. But since she gave birth at the exact moment the president arrived in the country, she decided to name her son AirforceOne Barack Obama.
“I have decided to call my baby AirForceOne Barack Obama so that we can all remember Obama’s visit to Kenya because it is a huge blessing,” Akinyi told the Daily Nation.
Another mother, Lucy Atieno, opted for a simpler name – Airforce One.
“I have been told that it is the best aeroplane because it carries a very powerful leader of America who is also a Kenyan,” Atieno said.
Silver Auma, on the other hand, named her son Junior Barack Obama, saying, “Each time I will be celebrating my baby’s birthday, I will remember that it is the day the first sitting President of US came to Kenya. It’s quite historic.”
Mother Annette Cheptot named her son Junior Barack Kiprop and Lilian Aoko named her son Barack Obama Ochieng, while Beline Awour opted for Nigel Barack Obama.
Mr Obama’s charm worked on Kenyan women
While these names may seem bizarre at first, there may be a deeper and more poignant connection to them. These women may actually have come up with the perfect names to their children, given the immense respect that Mr Obama has given to the Kenyan women and children.
One of Mr Obama’s focuses in his Kenyan speech is a message that will linger in these women’s hearts forever.
“Treating women as second-class citizens is a bad tradition. It holds you back. There’s no excuse for sexual assault or domestic violence,” Mr Obama said in his speech.
“There’s no reason that young girls should suffer genital mutilation. There’s no place in civilized society for the early or forced marriage of children. These traditions may date back centuries; they have no place in the 21st century,” Mr Obama highlighted.
“We have not inherited this land from our forebears, we have borrowed it from our children,” the president continued.
“So now is the time for us to do the hard work of living up to that inheritance; of building a Kenya where the inherent dignity of every person is respected and protected, and there’s no limit to what a child can achieve,” Mr Obama said in conclusion.
Proud to be the first American President to visit Kenya. Happy to see family, and to talk with young Kenyans about the future.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) July 24, 2015
Michelle, Sasha and Malia
Mothers who gave birth to baby girls named them after the three most important girls for Mr Obama.
“I expected to give birth on July 28 but I am glad it coincided with the arrival of President Obama. Since it was a baby girl, I decided to name her after Mr Obama’s wife Michelle,” Lilian Achieng said.
Josphine Anyango called her daughter Michelle Akinyi and Iren Awour gave her daughter the name Zura Ali Michelle.
In a related report from AFP, two baby girls were named Malia while another was named Malia Sasha.
“I could not call my daughter any other name,” Wilkister Anyango told AFP.
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