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Meet five year-old choirmaster who led the papal mass choir

Five year-old Francis Mbithi won the hearts of millions as he co-mastered 12 choirs singing during the papal mass at the University of Nairobi grounds.

On a day he could be watching proceedings on television or  playing with peers on a government declared public holiday, the Pope’s namesake opted to brave the morning showers to help out in the papal mass.

His motions seemed on key and his energy infectious as the 12 choirs followed his every instructions with zeal.

Young Francis donned a green shirt with the words “Little Cheche loves you Papa” written on the back.


He was among the thousands of faithfuls who braved the cold to attend the one and a half-hour historic mass by the Pope.

Young Francis during the papal mass at University of Nairobi. PHOTO | EUNICE KILONZO
Young Francis during the papal mass at University of Nairobi. PHOTO | EUNICE KILONZO

In his sermon, the Pope emphasised on the gift of family, lauding Kenya for upholding the African family values.

“Kenyan society has long been blessed with strong family life, a deep respect for the wisdom of the elderly and love for children. The health of any society depends on the health of its families,” said the Pope in his Latin sermon that was translated to English.

Entertainment was alive during the mass as choirs  belted out catholic hymns that President Uhuru Kenyatta could not help but sing along.


Liturgical dancers, among them young girls donning skirts with the Kenyan flag colors, braved the rain and danced to the tunes right in front of the papal dais.

The mass ended on a high note with a vote of thanks by John Cardinal Njue who expressed gratitude to the Pope for honouring Kenya’s invitation.

Pope Francis is expected to address the clergy at St Mary’s School grounds before heading to the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) headquarters in Gigiri at 5 pm.