Monday, May 23, 2011

Looking for the lost apostrophe

Barack Obama will be visiting Poland this Friday, at the tail-end of a whistle-stop tour that also takes him to Ireland, Britain and France.Just this past weekend, i was in the capital Warsaw, but it was impossible to detect or sense anything that felt like the imminent visit of the President of the United States.
Why that probably struck me as odd, is that one month before VP Joe Biden visited Nairobi in 2010, security agencies and city authorities were already turning the city inside-out.
Something else that struck me today was an article about the village of Moneygall in Ireland, where Obama's great-great-great-grandfather on his mother's side was a shoemaker. In a speech, Obama told the crowds that he had come to find the apostrophe that he lost somewhere along the way.'O'bama' tshirts and other merchandise have been selling like hot cake in Ireland.Kenyans from Western Kenya might want to create  controversy out of that, since 'Obama' and other names that begin with the letter 'O' usually have their origin in that part of the country.The attempt at 'Irishizing' Obama to 'O'bama' to fit the pattern of other Irish names like O'Toole, O'Reilly and O'Kelly would not go down well with the village elders in K'Ogelo village, where Obama Snr. was born. During his inauguration ceremony, an invitation was sent out from Washington to the Kenyan Boys choir, to provide entertainment.In the following clip, you will see just how at home they were performing a song in Luhya language, (one of the tribes in Western Kenya),praising Obama.

You see, my surname is 'Ottaro', so like Obama i also might want to find the 'lost apostrophe' and rediscover my Irish roots in some village that has two pubs but no bank, no ATM and no petrol station.And wear an O'ttaro tshirt while irrigating my throat with a pint of Guiness.Like O'bama says, it 'tastes better in Ireland!'

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