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Now hear this … Attitude is available forever

A story with the power to just keep on giving

18 Months_Gridneff

Big Kevin

A boychild was born in Goroka Hospital in the Eastern Highlands just five minutes after a visiting dignitary happened by in March 2008.

So impressed were the parents, Esau and Lina Kitgi from isolated Degi village, they named the baby in honour of the visitor … Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd.

And from time to time since, with the help of AAP correspondent Ilya Gridneff, we have kept track of Baby Kevin’s progress.

Well he’s reached another milestone in his short life – first words have been uttered.

“He’s growing up so quickly, talking now too,” says proud Dad, Esau.

Well, sort of. The 18-month old has managed “mum” and “dad” but, as Gridneff points out, “he struggles with his namesake’s favourite phrase ‘programmatic specificity’.”

Baby Kevin is now quite a tourist attraction. Not yet Kokoda Track status, but five Australians this month made the pilgrimage to Degi, where Esau proudly held the toddler aloft in front of cheering villagers.

“I just had to see him for myself and my parents wanted to see him too,” enthused Matt Carr, a renewable energy expert, who brought his visiting parents Elizabeth and John from Toowoomba. “He looked like an Eastern Highlands Jesus – naked with local finery.”

Well, that should get the tourists in – especially if a nappy’s discovered stained with a saintly image.

And now he’s learning to talk, Baby Kevin must surely be poised for rapid escalation as a global marketing phenomenon.

A lively interview with Kerry O’Brien about vertical fiscal integration can't be far off, and this will appear like toddler talk when Baby Kevin really hits his straps.

There’s much more of this story still to come.

I’ll be urging Gridneff to seek solid evidence that Baby Kevin is emulating in some tangible way his better known (but 'less tanned' as Silvio Berlusconi might put it) counterpart.

Is he about to adopt his first pair of round spectacles?

Does he have the ability to dummy spit at tardy air stewards.

Will he potty-mouth senators wanting more postage stamp money?

And how soon will he be able to distinguish between the G20, the G8 and the g-spot?

I, for one, can hardly wait.

Official portrait of Baby Kevin - Ilya Gridneff (AAP). Official portrait of Big Kevin - Unknown


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