Africa  

Kenyan woman gives birth while waiting to vote

Maasai women gather at a polling station in Ewaso Kendo, Kajiado West County on August 8, 2017, as the nation goes to the polls in national elections. Kenyans began voting in general elections headlined by a too-close-to-call battle between incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga that has sent tensions soaring in east Africa’s richest economy. / AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA

Some Kenyans braced long queues, others rain and chilly weather, but one woman gave birth Tuesday while in line to vote in general elections and still made sure to vote.

A heavily pregnant Paulina Chemanang was feeling fine as she left to vote early at a polling station in remote West Pokot country, she told local radio Capital FM.

“I had no labour pains, and they just came as soon as I arrived here. I was not feeling anything since yesterday,” she said.

Shortly after she arrived, she went into labour, and, with the assistance of bystanders, gave birth to a baby girl while still at the polling station.

After a trip to a local health clinic, she returned and cast her ballot.

“Now I am happy, because I have given birth and I have voted,” she told the radio station. “Having given birth at a polling station is a blessing to me and I thank God.”

Kenyans are voting in six elections, including a too-close-to-call race between President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is seeking a second term, and longtime opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Balloting at the 41,000 polling stations across the country has been relatively calm, though there have been delays in some areas due to equipment failure and rain.

Chemanang’s Pokot ethnic group often name their children according to events or seasons, and she said she had named her daughter Chepkura, which refers to the elections in Swahili.

In this article:
KenyaPaulina Chemanang


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