Friday night was a spectacle across the country as Kenyans gathered in churches and entertainment joints to welcome the New Year.
Leaders used the night to interact with ordinary people.
Thousands of people jammed to hotels, nightclubs, churches and tourist destinations in Mombasa.
Governor Ali Hassan Joho was at Mama Ngina Waterfront where Nyashinski, Redsan, Sudi Boy, Tanasha Donna, Susumila, Chikuzee, Ally B, Happy C, Femi One, Takers Dancers, King Kaka and other celebrities entertained those present.
There was a display of fireworks at midnight. Mr Joho said the fireworks would boost the entertainment industry.
In Kilifi, Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli hosted Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga, businessman Suleiman Shahbal, Senator Stewart Mwadzayo at his home.
In Nakuru, Kingdom Seekers Church leader John Kimani urged Kenyans to preach and maintain peace.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui’s wife, Elizabeth, said 2021 was marked with confusion and anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We hope 2022 will be a better year,” Mrs Kinyanjui said.
Bishop Mark Kariuki of the Deliverance Church said the pandemic has hit millions of Kenyans hard.
“The situation will improve in 2022. Our businesses will be revived. The failures of 2021 will not be manifested in 2022 since this is a year of opportunities,” he said.
Bishop Maurice Muhatia Makumba of the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru said prayed for the country.
“I pray that God protects Kenya before, during and after the General Election,” he said.
Repentance and Holiness Ministry faithful gathered at ASK showground main altar in Nakuru town to usher in 2022 after closing the day’s meeting at Menengai grounds.
Politician Koigi wa Wamwere said 2022 should be dedicated to fighting the pandemic.
In Maragua, Murang’a county, the celebrations became a double blessings.
Children waiting for New Year celebrations in the streets helped police arrest 12 suspected thieves.
The children raised their voices every time someone attempted to mug a resident.
“The children helped apprehend seven muggers and five pickpockets who were targeting drunk people,” Maragua police boss Cleophas Mangut said.
“Police on patrol would notice and respond, leading to the arrests.”
Samburu county residents converged in many places to bid farewell to 2021 and usher in the new year.
In his New Year message, Bishop Virgilio Pante of Maralal Catholic Diocese urged locals to let go of the past and ask for healing from God.
“I want to call on Kenyans to forget the bad things that happened. Let us embrace peace and harmony,” Bishop Pante said.
There was jubilation at places of worship in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.
Religious leaders told politicians to preach peace even as they seek elective posts.
Eldoret Diocese Bishop Dominic Kimengich asked politicians to preach unity.
“They should speak the language of peace and harmony. Let them say what their vision is. They should not divide people along ethnic, race, class or any other lines,” Bishop Dominic Kimengich said.
There were cheers, song and dance and fireworks as 2022 dawned in Lodwar, Turkana County.
Major entertainment sports, including Marble Club and Extreme VIP were filled to capacity.
Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok said the interests of the county and its people must be put into consideration by anyone seeking top positions in the government.
“It is critical that our voice is heard and we are represented at the decision-making table. The coming government must support Turkana county tackle chronic challenges like water shortage and insecurity,” he said.
Reported by Winnie Atieno, Mercy Koskei, John Njoroge, Waikwa Miana, Geoffrey Ondieki,George Sayagie, Onyango K’Onyango and Sammy Lutta