Christmas and New Year are finally here. MERCY KAVUTHA talks to a few Kenyans to see what they have planned for the final days of the year and for the most celebrated festivity period.
What are Kenyans doing for their December holidays? An article by born2invest states that Christmas is the season which people do some real spending and splurging, leaving other holidays such as back-to-school season and Valentine’s Day by a margin of a whopping $556.1 billion, making it the most invested in holiday of the year.
However, another survey conducted by IPSOS in 2016 revealed that 88 per cent of Kenyans preferred to spend Christmas at church or participating in other cost-cutting activities.
So, how exactly will Kenyans be doing it this year? Sure, there's a fair share of Mombasa-bound bikini-laden adventurers who we will only see come January, but there is a surprising number of citizens including celebrities who would like to retreat at home or stay focused on working. We caught up with a number of locals and celebrities to learn what they plan to do with their holiday downtime.
I will be guarding Nairobi — Wahu Kagwi, 38, singer/songwriter
I will be in Nairobi! Someone has to take care of the city and keep it safe while you're all gone! (Haha) I will be very busy working at AfroSiri Salon until a few days before Christmas. See, I already took my leave back in November so this will be a working holiday for me. On Christmas, I will simply spend my day with my immediate and extended family over at Kiserian. It’s a day to celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ so I would rather spend it with nobody else than my family.
I may find myself at the coast — Amina Abdi, 30, host of ‘The Trend’
Well, we had made plans to fly to Bali for this years' celebrations but the plan changed as somebody forgot. (Haha) So I actually have no idea. I will most likely be working before Christmas day and will find myself in Diani or Kilifi with my child, husband, and sister. I'm looking forward to a beautiful new experience with my family and to enjoy being with them till we are back to business.
Lots of travelling — Alisha Popat, 32, musical artist
This year we wanted to go all out so we'll be heading to Austria to meet my boyfriend and his family, and spend a few days there. It seems like a nice place to vacation and I've never been there. After that well be travelling with my parents and boyfriend to Cape Town. I want to bring my parents with me because they always travel to see me during the holidays, so this time I want to surprise them. I'm really excited to take my parents back to the place where they raised me and to show my boyfriend where I'm from.
Catch me on stage — Fidel Eli Shammah, 25, vocalist- Le Band
Every day is Christmas for me. The kind of industry I work in is so tough and I'm too invested in my music to take a break. So, for the days leading up to Christmas, our band will be doing shows and still perfecting our art. Afterward, I will be fully immersed in family activities such as travelling to Western to be with everybody and enjoy quality time with them. I'm a Christian, so the 25th is very important for me to fellowship with my family members and to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Indoors on Christmas — Guardian Angel, gospel singer and songwriter
On Christmas Day I will be in Eldama Ravine. I will just go to church to catch the service and then head back to the house. I am planning to spend the day with a friend and we have no major plans per se. However, food has to be in play and I’m looking forward to a big meal of ugali and kuku. On December 31, I’ll be performing at Emmy Kosgei’s concert in Eldoret. I’d like to really thank my fans for the support they’ve shown me. Please be responsible because there’s a lot of movement during this time and we don’t want to lose people on the roads unnecessarily.
Relaxing at home — Beatrice Owuor, 35, personal accountant
We spent last Christmas in Australia with my hubby, children, mum, and stepdad. This year, Christmas will see us an early morning service at our home church, then afterward go to the Giraffe Manor to see some animals and see if anything festive is happening. Afterward, my family and I will get home have early baths, put our PJs on and watch a Christian Christmas film before bed. For Boxing, we'll drive down to my husband’s family in Nyanza and spend some quality time with them. I'm a very busy woman so I really appreciate this break I have to spend with my wonderful family and go on a little road trip.
I'll be busy as always — Sharon Wanjiku, 28, stay-at-home mother
This year we were meant to be flying to Uganda and stay there for the entire month but we recently got a little one back in August and I don't really fancy flying with a two-month-old! So home it is. For the actual day well have our annual Christmas Eve party with close family and friends and then an early start in the morning to find out if Father Christmas has come haha. Then the family that lives next to us will come by for lunch, presents and Christmas carolling then evening snacks with various cakes that my sister bakes (she's an avid cook). Then to my sisters on Boxing day for games and “kanyama” with our families. So it will actually be a busy one for me.