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Diaspora man and new baby girls return from Kenya after citizenship hurdle

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After a long flight from Kenya and an unexpected citizenship hurdle, a Toronto man and his newborn twin daughters are finally back home.

“I think it’s surreal,” Joseph Tito said. “I still can’t believe I’m here after all this time. I’m just so happy we’re together and we’re here and we’re home.”

Tito, who was born in Italy and inherited his Canadian citizenship through his Canadian-born mother, travelled to Kenya last month to meet Stella and Mia, his new babies born via surrogacy on Nov. 30.

When Tito arrived in Kenya he learned his Canadian citizenship would not automatically be passed down to his children since they were also born out of the country.

A law passed in 2009 stripped the ability of Canadians born outside the country and inherited their citizenship to pass it on to their children who were also not born in Canada.

Tito hired a surrogate mother in Kenya as he found the surrogacy process to be cheaper there for a single man, compared to Canada.

“It just kind of feels weird that I am Canadian, I’ve always been Canadian but my kids are not Canadian,” he said.

On Monday – more than one week after his first planned flight back to Canada – Tito said he finally received visas for his daughters.

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After landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, Tito introduced Stella and Mia to his family surrounded by cameras.

Joseph Tito is seen speaking to reporters at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Jan. 9, 2018.

“I really think the media helped. The media sort of expedited things in terms of getting the visas and the embassy in Kenya was just like take the visas and get out of here, we are done with this story, we don’t want to hear about it anymore.”

Tito said the whole process “felt like a movie.”

“It didn’t feel like it was real – especially for a country like Canada,” he said. “Before I even started with this journey, I looked into it, I called the embassy, I called my clinic, I contacted lawyers, I did all my research and then I paid for everything three weeks before that and then all of a sudden it was ‘OK you can’t go’ I was just floored.”

“I couldn’t believe it.”

The sponsorships for the young girls have already been completed, Tito said, and he plans to apply for their citizenships as soon as possible.

“I will throw them a big party when they are Canadians,” Tito said.

CP24.com

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Boy, 2, puzzles with his ‘natural’ reading ability

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Elias Muthomi has mastered words and the alphabet all by himself, apparently

When Elias Muthomi was barely one-and-a-half years old, his parents noticed something strange — he could read out English words on a wall chart. Moses Gitonga and Monica Wambui initially thought their son had simply memorised what he was saying after hearing adults speak, but each day was a surprise as he read more words accurately.

Today, at the age of two years and nine months, Elias has become something of a celebrity in his Ngumba Estate neighbourhod in Nairobi for his reading ability — yet he has never stepped into a classroom and has not gone through home schooling.

When Sunday Nation visited their home, it did not take long for Elias to start reading the writings on the video camera. “Soony,” he said cheerfully, referring to the Sony camera.

More “tests” follow as he easily read the writings on the charts and even those projected by his proud father on the television screen. His parents had bought the charts to prepare him to join pre-primary once he attained the age of three years, but every time they showed him new writings and images, he promptly read them without any help. Apart from the alphabet, Elias can read and pronounce the vowels chart and the names of animals.

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“He likes watching news when most of his age mates like watching cartoons,” says his father, adding that Elias likes to read out the names of political leaders when their images appear on TV.

The dilemma his parents are facing is which school to take him to. They once sought advice from Elias’s paternal grandfather Stanley Ntiritu, a retired primary schoolteacher, who recommended further consultation with experts.

“People have advised me to take him to an international school where his potential can be exploited better but I do not have the money,” says the boy’s father. But his mother is concerned that Elias spends more time trying to read things while his age- mates are playing. She would like him to play more.

Source: Sunday Nation

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Africa

Just like at home, getting passport for Kenyans abroad is a tough task

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Kenyans in diaspora note they are taking up to eight months to renew passport in an energy-sapping exercise

Like many Kenyans living abroad, Justin K Wangila in Tanzania was excited by the announcement in Nairobi in 2017 that the government would start issuing “new generation” passports.

“This was a dream come true because, for a long time, most of us Kenyans living in other countries, especially those in East Africa, had yearned for an East African Community passport … we were in a hurry to apply,” said Mr Wangila in an interview with the Sunday Nation. Mr Wangila was told the application process started online after one opened an account on the internet portal e-Citizen.

“That is where problems start. I wasn’t applying for a passport for the first time. I was renewing one. But this process makes you start from scratch because, like in my case, they had none of my records,” he said.

He needed several documents, such as his national identity (ID) number, his personal identification number (PIN) and his parents’ ID numbers.

“I got stuck because I did not have my late father’s ID. In its absence, the process required the number on the death certificate. My father died a long time ago and I wasn’t even sure a death certificate had been issued. I was forced to take some days off from work to travel home to try and find my father’s death certificate,” he added.

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Entertainment

Dennis Okari proudly flaunts his wife

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NTV journalist Dennis Okari on Saturday proudly flaunted his wife Naomi Joy on social media.

The two got married a week ago in an invite-only ceremony and the journalist has now updated his profile across all platforms.

On Instagram, he added, “Husband to my Joy.”

Source: U-report 

 

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