There are no prizes for guessing who Kenyans are backing in the United States presidential elections on 4 November. Support for the junior senator from Illinois and Democratic candidate Barack Obama, whose late father was Kenyan, has reached extraordinary heights, with both “The Standard” and “The Daily Nation” newspapers giving special coverage of the presidential race and Kenya Buzz advertising limited-edition “Kenya says Yes we can!” Obama t-shirts on its weekly electronic events listing.
The cultural industry has also tapped into the excitement, with Tone Theatre Productions presenting “Obama The Musical” by Kenyan playwright George Orido at the Kenya National Theatre from 2-5 November. The musical stage play draws from Obama’s 1995 memoir, “Dreams from My Father”, his 2006 book “The Audacity of Hope: thoughts on reclaiming the American dream” and other sources.
In what may have been another show of support for the African-American senator, in early October immigration police arrested controversial American author Jerome Corsi in Nairobi, where he had been trying to promote his anti-Obama book “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality”. However the immigration ministry has denied that the arrest and subsequent deportation had anything to do with the contents of the book, saying that Corsi had failed to apply for a temporary work permit on entering the country.