‘Yes, We Can’ Tchotchkes in Kenya

Reporters on the Job: As a father of two young girls, I often bring back small gifts from my reporting assignments. It’s not always easy to find something appropriate – or that they’ll appreciate. But this trip, I was able to ‘get plenty crazy’ shopping for my daughters, while I reported about Obamamania in Kenya.

I got a couple of skirts and T-shirts, the inexpensive kind that normally have the faces of African presidents printed on them. These, of course, showed Obama.

Some included the phrase, “Hongera Obama” (Praise Obama) in Swahili. Others had the phrase: “Ndiyo tuna-weza” or “Yes, we can!”

Even in Swahili I can’t disassociate Obama’s campaign phrase with one that was already famous in the Baldauf household: “Can you build it? Yes, you can!”

I’m quoting Bob the Builder, the PBS children’s show character, and his Can-Do Crew.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of 5 free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.