Traders cash in on [email protected] fete
Nairobi has pocketed the lion’s share of the Sh500 million budget for [email protected]
Hotels, car hire firms, musicians and private security firms have all made a killing, as the Golden Jubilee celebrations entered their third day.
Hawkers also braved the heavy rains to make the most out of the celebrations, selling umbrellas and memorabilia to the crowds at Uhuru Gardens who turned up to see President Kenyatta hoist the national flag.
Both the goods and hospitality industries have recorded booming business over the last one week as a result of the festivities, according to Kenya Private Sector Alliance CEO Carole Kariuki.
“Right now, a lot of sectors are recording booming business. I would say both the hospitality and goods industries have recorded good business given the high number of visitors arriving in the country,” she said.
And Ms Kariuki went on: “The celebrations have also raised optimism in the country which translates into investor confidence. By the President just talking about the investment opportunities available here, confidence is boosted which translates into good business opportunities.” Sixteen Presidents and two Prime Ministers attended the climax of the celebrations held at the Kasarani stadium yesterday.
And today, Kenyans will enjoy a fun-filled day at the same venue with a musical extravaganza.
Tomorrow, the party shifts to Wilson Airport for the [email protected] Airshow.
The curtains come down on the celebrations on Sunday with thanksgiving prayers throughout the county and the rest of Kenya.
At least 18 of Nairobi’s most luxurious hotels made a fortune by hosting the visiting presidents and their delegations. They included the Serena, the Windsor Golf and Country Club, Hotel Intercontinental and Safari Park, which were each assigned as many as three visiting Presidents with entire wings reserved for them and their entourages.
Car hire firms also made a kill hiring out at fleets of Mercedes S500 limousines to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for use by the visiting heads and their delegations.
Sources at the ministry revealed each head of state was assigned four limos, the bulk of them hired from private firms at around Sh40,000 each for a day.
Local musicians and cultural groups from all parts of the region also made money entertaining guests.
A member of the celebrations’ organising committee said each of the musicians, who entertained the gathering during Wednesday night’s event at Uhuru Gardens and yesterday’s function at Kasarani, pocketed between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000.
They included Rufftone, Emmy Kosgei, Suzanna Owiyo, Amani, Nameless, Tony Nyadundo and Sauti Sol as well as a cultural group from Burundi. Private security firms also cashed in on the huge demand, complementing the regular and Administration Police in crowd control.
There was style, pomp and colour at Uhuru Gardens as President Kenyatta hoisted the national flag at the stroke of midnight to start the celebrations.
He also planted a commemorative tree.
“Tonight, we bear testimony of our fidelity to the aspirations of our freedom fighters, Independence heroes and founding fathers. In time, we have overcome much to become a modern, open, democratic nation doing its best for its citizens and neighbours,” the President said.