, NAIROBI Kenya, Jan 1-After ushering the New Year, Kenyans thronged places of worship and parks for celebrations, as others prepared to travel back to the city after the festivities.
Hundreds of families spent their day out at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park as well as other recreational facilities and churches, after Tuesday night’s celebrations.
For George Odhiambo, Wednesday was a special day for him because it is time to entertain and interact with his family.
“Today is a very special day, yesterday was 2013 and today is 2014 and you have to relax. I have brought my family to ride boats and enjoy themselves,” he said.
Odhiambo had travelled to the Nairobi from Kisumu for the festivities and chose Uhuru Park as his best destination for merry-making. “Uhuru Park is the best place to relax and that is why I am here.”
There are those who went on with their businesses in the city, despite the ongoing festivities, because for them it’s a time to make money.
David Githinji a vendor within the park said he had made a lot of sales though not as much as during the Christmas festivities.
“People should be happy and spend because it is a New Year, but people are complaining of school fees…they are bargaining a lot,” he lamented, and urged the government to lower the cost of living.
Others like Wilson Indiazi, a camera man at Uhuru Park, his New Year resolution is to make more money to expand his business.
“I want to start a photo studio that is why I am working hard, my family depends on this business,” he said.
Others were seen with their families, some with children who spent much time on bouncing castles, eating ice cream or just jumping and playing around.
Boat rides which are usually less busy on normal days were too busy, with people of all ages queuing to take a ride in the poorly maintained waters at Uhuru Park.
Cecilia Wairimu and her friends were playing hide and seek, a game they used to play when they were young in the good old days.
“We miss doing this…and this is the only day which we can do it before resuming back to our normal schedules from next week,” a joyous Wairimu said.
There are those who just lay there, admiring the city, as they chatted away, perhaps making resolutions for 2014 or reminiscing how they made merry on the eve of the New Year.
At the far end of the park, another group was seen singing worship songs, perhaps to thank God for getting them through to the New Year.
There were also police officers patrolling the park, to ensure safety for the merry-makers, following an assurance from Nairobi police Chief Benson Kibue who announced Wednesday that his officers had shot dead some nine suspected gangsters who attempted to disrupt New Year parties in various parts of the city.