Obama victory sparks baby naming frenzy

KISUMU, Kenya Thu Nov 6, 2008 1:49pm EST

1 of 2. Josephine Ochieng holds her newborn baby boy named after U.S. President-elect Barack Obama at the Nyanza Provincial general hospital in Kenya's western town of Kisumu, 355km (221 miles) west of the capital Nairobi, November 5, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

KISUMU, Kenya (Reuters Life!) - The U.S. election has triggered a new generation of mini Barack Obamas with parents in Kenya and the United States naming their newborns after the new president-elect.

At the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital in Kisumu, western Kenya, Barack's ancestral homeland, several mothers were naming their babies after the U.S.'s first African-American president.

The mothers told Reuters Television that they wanted their babies to grow up to have the same successful traits as Obama.

"I would like that by the time he is in his 40s he becomes the president of this country," said Nancy Otieno proudly of her newborn son Barack Obama.

Another new mother, Millicent Akoth, named her new daughter Michelle Obama after the soon-to-be first lady.

Obama has been elevated to rock star status in the east African nation which has named a beer, "Senator," after him and where "Obama: The Musical" opened last weekend.

Obama, who was born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a Kenyan father, is idolized by many Africans in the way the Irish revered U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the 1960s -- as one of their own who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

But it is not just Kenyans naming their babies after him.

South Florida couple Patrick and Sasha Hall were reported on Wednesday to be among the first since the election to bestow the name Obama on their child, Obama Hall, according to the Miami Herald.

The name Barack means blessed, according to Web site babynames.com, while Obama was the given name of his great-grandfather that became his grandfather's surname.

(Reporting by Reuters Television; Editing by David Fox)

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