Nov. 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM ET
The election has triggered a new generation of Barack Obamas and one Mitt Romney, with parents in Kenya naming their newborns after the newly re-elected president and his defeated rival, Mitt Romney.
At the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, Obama’s ancestral homeland, several mothers named their babies after the first African-American president and Romney, just hours after the official announcement that Obama had been re-elected.
Millicent Awuor, 20, named her newly born twins Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
"I gave birth to twins, and I decided to name them after Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. I named the first twin Barack and the second one Mitt just the way Obama and Romney performed in the US election," said Awuor, a housewife.Another mother, Monica Akinyi, said she wanted her baby to grow up to have the same successful traits as Obama.
"I decided to name my child Barack Obama after the president of the U.S. because of his achievements and the developments he has brought here," said Akinyi.
Obama has been elevated to rock star status in the east African nation, which named a beer, "president," after him during the 2008 elections. Before he became president, there was a "senator" beer in his honor.
Obama, who was born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father, is idolized by many Africans in much the way the Irish revered President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s — as one of their own who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.Eucabeth, a nurse at Nyanza general hospital, said most parents from that region prefer naming their children after people around the world, and that it was not surprising to see them naming their children Mitt Romney.
"Traditionally we find mothers naming their babies after famous people, because even in 2008, during the election year some babies were named Barack, [and] others were named Joe Biden. So you find they tend to pick after people who are in high positions in society," said Eucabeth.
The name Barack means “blessed,” while Obama was the given name of the president’s great-grandfather, which then became his grandfather's surname.
Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.