Written by IainB
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Topics: Barack Obama, kenya

Saturday, 10 September 2011

image for Obama is pronounced Ooh Be A Ma
Ohhh Be A Man. What? No N?

After four years in the public eye, Barack Obama has come forward to tell people how to pronounce his name.

"For the past few years," said Obama, "I have kept quiet whilst people mispronounciate my name. Barack they get right, generally, although one or two have pronounced the 'rack' as 'stard'. However, my surname is not pronounced Oh Bar Mar, it is pronounced Ooh Be A Ma."

This has come as a huge shock to many thousands of news readers who have been pronouncing it Oh Bar Mar for as long as anybody in journalism can remember. Or about ten weeks.

"I'm quite shocked," said BBC One News Reader, Huw Edwards. "I should have realised the pronunciation. After all it's a very Welsh way of pronouncing the syllables in Obama. As most British people know, I like to get a little bit of Welsh in every news broadcast I do."

Mariana Ginella Siminestra Hernadez Gomez of NZ1, the main New Zealand television channel, is likewise abashed.

"I have a little bit of Portuguese in me," she said. "Which is not really relevant, given the Kenyan origins of Ooh Be A Ma. However, I like to tell people."

Even Kenyan newsreaders have been mispronouncing Obama.

"I have not been pronouncing Obama in the traditional Kenyan way," said Henry Amamanama, from Kenya Today. "I have been pronouncing it the way that he always seemed to pronounce it. Why pronounce it any other way, I was always thinking if anybody knows how to pronounce a name it's the person whose name it is, surely you are agreeing with me?"

Amamanama does not believe that Obama is telling the truth about the pronunciation, even now. "In the traditional Kenyan tongue it should be pronounced Obb Ha! Mmmmmmmmm Ha! Which translates as, 'sexy? You're kidding, he's far too funny looking'."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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