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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Baby Baracks

Lots of parents in Kenya are naming their babies after the President-elect and First-Lady-to-be.

Out of 15 babies born in the New Nyanza Provincial Hospital in the western city of Kisumu on Wednesday, five boys were named Barack Obama and three girls were called Michelle. [Link]
This sort of thing is nothing new.
My first job in Africa was running a follow-up survey in western Kenya--chasing down 8,000 primary school students 5 years after they'd received a randomized health intervention. More than a third had moved away, and we searched high and low around the country for more than a year.

The name list was a Who's Who of the globe's political class. There were Bill Clinton Ojiambos and Bin Ladin Odongos. There were George Bush Jumas and Hillary Clinton Awinos.

My favorite moment: in 2003, shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, an exasperated enumerator came to me, "I've been looking all day," she said, "and I just can't find this Saddam Hussein." [Link, via Ezra Klein]

Karen

'This sort of thing is nothing new.'

Exactly--my own family tree is full of George Washingtons, Benjamin Franklins and Andrew Jacksons.

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