As Barack Obama was re-elected President of the United States, his victory was being celebrated a continent away. In Kenya, a young mother named Millicent Owuor gave birth to twin boys, and she chose to name them after Obama and his opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
A thrilled Owuor was captured by Reuters photographers post-delivery, holding her two newborn sons. "I named the first twin Barack and the second one Mitt," she told reporters.
But while the names of the two rivals may seem like an unusual choice for brothers, Owuor says she chose them to help remind her of the historic election that had taken place on the other side of the world while they were being born.
Speaking to a local media outlet called the Standard, Owuor said that she would remember both the election’s victor and loser for a very long time. But while the election occurred a world away from Owuor’s home, the town a bore a unique connection to one of the candidates.
Not far from the Siaya District hospital where the 20-year-old mother delivered the boys, the BBC reported that local villagers were rejoicing after Obama’s victory, singing and dancing. And indeed, they had a special reason to: The central Kenyan hospital where the twins were born is just a few miles from the nearby village of Kogelo, the home of Obama’s ancestors and the village where his 89-year-old step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, still resides.
According to reports, Kogelo followed the early voting results of the election attentively. When media outlets called the election in favor of Barack Obama, villagers reportedly broke out in festivities, crying “Hail our Kogelo son.”
And the President’s step-grandmother was no less supportive, saying that she never lost faith that he would win the election.
"The reason why he has won is because God has given it to him," said Obama. "Secondly, he has got the knowledge to love all people, he doesn't have the knowledge of division, that is why he has won."