There was booming business at Kasarani as traders capitalised on the huge influx of visitors during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
Vendors of drinks and restaurants made a kill as hawkers sold Jubilee-branded merchandise such as T-shirts, caps, umbrellas and even toys for children.
Others sold replica Kenyan flags.
“This is a big day for business. This morning alone I have made more sales than I usually make in a whole week. I hope to sell even more flags before the end of the day,” said Martin Waithaka, a flags hawker.
“It is a good business day for us,” said the manager at the newly opened restaurant in Kasarani without divulging.
Others took the opportunity to show directions to the visitors as others provided parking for motorists at a fee.
The only other time this year when the 60,000-seater Kasarani Stadium has hosted a crowd this large was during the IAAF Junior Athletics Championships in July when the online Kenyan community mobilised other Kenyans to attend the last day of the competition to cheer the national team.
Members of public were, however, not allowed to access the facility with bottles and cans of drinks. Ushers and the police ensured that those getting into the stadium had finished their drinks and left the bottles outside.
The scenario was, however, different in the city as most businesses remained closed for the best part of Tuesday morning. A spot-check by the Nation revealed little or no activity in streets that ordinarily teem with business action.
Along the busy Kimathi Street, all restaurants except Java were closed. An attendant said that business was low in the early hours of Tuesday in the eat-out that is usually busy on ordinary days.
“We routinely open even during public holidays. Few customers have come this morning but we expect the situation to change as the day progresses. People must eat despite it being a public holiday,” she told the Nation.
There was heavy security inside and around the stadium as various contingents of the police controlled the large crowd that turned up for the ceremony.