PHOTOS: Kenyans’ colourful reception of Pope Francis

Kenyans from all walks of life braved the cold on Wednesday evening and converged in groups along Mombasa Road to welcome Pope Francis, who arrived in Nairobi for a three-day visit on his maiden tour of Africa.

Faithfuls turned up in huge numbers to welcome Pope Francis PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Faithfuls turned up in huge numbers to welcome Pope Francis PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Faithful carrying banners with images of the holy father, and others holding palm leaves stood on both sides of the highway just to have a glimpse of the Pope.

Of big banners which welcomed the holy father PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Of big banners which welcomed the holy father PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Braving the heavy security present, Kenyans stood close to the road hoping for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the pope.

Security was beefed up PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Security was beefed up PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s convoy sped along Mombasa Road at around 4:35pm as he headed to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to welcome the Pope.

President Uhuru Kenyatta's motorcade heads to the JKIA to welcome Pope Francis PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s motorcade heads to the JKIA to welcome Pope Francis PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

At around 5:15pm, the president’s motorcade made its way back to the State House after receiving the head of Catholic Church.

They waited anxiously to see the Pope's convoy pass PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

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A while later, Pope Francis’ motorcade passed on its way to the reception at State House, with the holy father waving at the crowd that had gathered to see him.

Of the children from Mukuru Kayaba slums who came to at least see the Pope's motorcade speed by PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

Of the children from Mukuru Kayaba slums who came to at least see the Pope’s motorcade speed by PHOTO/BRIAN OKOTH

The Pope arrived at State House a few minutes to 6pm where he was accorded a 21-gun salute and later addressed the nation, his key message to Kenyans being: “Cohesion, integration and tolerance with others.”

Pope Francis, President Kenyatta and former Presidents Moi and Kibaki

Pope Francis, President Kenyatta and former Presidents Moi and Kibaki at State House PHOTO/COURTESY

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