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Love and fun as families celebrate births of Christmas babies

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By NATION TEAM
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As the clock struck midnight, churches and discos burst into celebrations, while expectant mothers in hospitals shed tears of joy as they delivered Christmas babies.

The most anticipated day in the Christian calendar had arrived. For others, it was a night of eating, drinking and making merry.

For many a Kenyan family, the celebrations would not be complete without them going to church.

The city was deserted, with a majority of residents having travelled upcountry.

Christmas at Uhuru Park

Nairobians celebrate Christmas at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, with their families on December 25, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his family joined fellow Christians for Mass at the Holy Ghost Cathedral, Mombasa, while Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga was among the hundreds of worshippers at ACK St Peter’s Nyamira Parish in Bondo, Siaya County.

Security was tight in Nakuru. Guards frisked worshippers arriving in churches and entertainment joints.

There were large gatherings at Nakuru Catholic Diocese and St Monica Catholic churches.

Some locals said they opted to remain in Nakuru as they could not make it to their rural homes due to the hard economic times.

 Christmas celebrations

An employee of Pride Inn Paradise hotel distributes gifts to children during Christmas celebrations. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“I had planned to travel to western Kenya but couldn’t make it because bus fares shot up dramatically,” Mr James Wesonga said at Elimu Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama hosted hundreds of his constituents at his home, while Enashipai Resort and Spa managing director Wanjeri Mahiti said business was brisk.

The Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Narok County teemed with visitors.

In the first 18 hours of December 25, some 18 babies were born at the Embu Referral Hospital. Eleven were girls.

“All the babies are healthy and their mothers are celebrating. None of the women developed any complications,” senior nursing officer Mary Njue said.

Six babies were born at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital. Jomo Kenyatta beach in Mombasa was packed with revellers from noon to 5pm.

Uniformed and plainclothes police officers patrolled the beach. Visitors were still streaming into the beach early yesterday.

In Bombolulu, Bamburi and Majaoni, mnazi (palm wine) drinking dens were full. But business for hotels and bars in Tana River County was not good this Christmas.

Owners said they incurred losses because their customers, mostly civil servants, chose to travel to their rural homes or to Mombasa.

 Christmas Day

A man drives with his family a car in the Indian Ocean, Mombasa on Christmas Day. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

“We expected a large number of customers but it was not to be,” Mr Frankline Wambua, a hotel manager, told the Nation.

“We will have to donate the food or throw it away. It is a huge loss.”

A Mazeras woman, who only identified herself as Sidi, said she had enjoyed every moment of her Christmas.

In Migori County, Governor Okoth Obado spent Christmas Day at Bethany Orphanage in Ntimaru in Kuria East Sub-County.

Mr Obado said 2018 had been a year of great success “despite the many challenges we faced”.

And in Kondele and Manyatta in Kisumu County, Ward Representative Joachim Oketch donated food and drinks to some families.

In central Kenya, retired President Mwai Kibaki joined worshippers at Our Lady of Consolata Cathedral in Nyeri.

Motorists and other road users were advised to be cautious during the festivities.

Christmas

Children join traditional dancers at Pride Inn Hotel in Mombasa on Christmas Day. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Embu County, residents celebrated the day in style despite the tough economic times.

They flocked to various entertainment joints.

Popular Tanzanian Bongo music star Diamond Platnumz entertained revellers at Moi Stadium on Christmas Eve.

In Tharaka-Nithi County, hundreds of girls in Kamwathu Sub-Location received re-usable sanitary towels as Christmas gifts from Health Wise Foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

Hotels in Eldoret and elsewhere in the North Rift were jammed with revellers on Christmas Day and Wednesday.

A group of Muslims in Eldoret hosted 500 street-children for lunch at Asis Hotel. The Muslim leaders asked Kenyans to love and help the poor.

They said that doing so would promote the spirit of sharing and giving without considering anyone’s ethnic or religious background.

Reported by Eric Matara, Macharia Mwangi, John Njoroge, Steve Njuguna, Magdalene Wanja, George Sayagie, George Munene, Philip Muyanga, Mohamed Ahmed and Stephen Oduor, Justus Ochieng, Rushdie Oudia, Vivere Nandiemo, Judith Acholla, Grace Gitau, Alex Njeru, Dennis Lubanga, Barnabas Bii and Sammy Lutta

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