Kenyans Name Babies ‘AirForceOne,’ ‘Barack’ to Celebrate Obama’s Visit

Ivan Lieman/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama’s trip to Kenya inspired several women to name their children after the First Family. One woman took it a step further to keep her child more unique.

“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,” explained Lucy A Akiniyo Okoth.

Another mother decided to keep it simple with AirForceOne.

“I have been told that it is the best airplane because it carries a very powerful leader of America who is also a Kenyan,” said Lucy Atieno.

Almost half of the recorded 50 births at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu received the names Obama, Michelle, Sasha, or Malia.

Janet Atieno delivered a healthy baby girl at 10AM on Sunday. She named her Michelle Obama. If the baby was a boy she planned to name him Barack Obama.

“I thought I would deliver later than it has happened,” she exclaimed. “Obama’s coming was highly publicised in the media and I made a decision that I would name my child after him. I am happy that there were no complications during the delivery, and I hope the baby will successfully grow up and follow the footsteps of the people she is named after.”

However, naming people and places after Obama stem back to his senatorial days. Obama’s father was born and buried in the village of Kogelo. When he was elected senator, the village named two schools after him: Senator Obama Kogelo Primary School and Senator Obama Kogelo Secondary School. Barack Obama Okoth, aged seven, attends the primary school. The BBC found that almost all of 60 students in one class wished their parents named them after Obama.

The names Barack, Obama, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha spiked in the United States after he won the presidency in November 2008. Half of the children born in Kirsumu at that time also received the names of Barack and Michelle.