Mali: Record-breaking nonuplets celebrate their second birthday

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Fatouma, Kadidia, Hawa, Adama, Oumou, Bah, Mohammed, Oumar and Elhadji, the nonuplets that two years ago broke the Guinness record of the most living births at once, celebrated on Saturday their birthday for the first time at home in Mali.

Relatives, friends and even the paediatrician of the nonuplets attended the celebration.

The children chose “Miraculous” as the theme of their second birthday, “it’s their favourite” said their mother, Hailma Cisse.

A poster featuring a picture from the cartoon "Miraculous" and the name of the children welcomed guests to the party inside the family’s house, as well as decorative little boxes with pictures of the different characters.

“I thank God for allowing me to celebrate my children's two-year birthdays at home, in Mali,” said 27-year-old Cisse.

Cisse was expecting seven babies, and due to the complexity and special care needed for that exceptional multiple pregnancy, the doctors in Mali - under government orders - decided to transfer her to a clinic in Casablanca, Morocco, where on May 5th 2021 the young mother gave birth to nine instead of seven kids: five girls and four boys.

On Saturday, it seemed impossible to keep the nine sisters and brothers together for a family picture, someone was always missing, even during the cutting of the cake.

Cisse and her husband Abdel Kader Arby, already had a 4-year-old daughter, and never thought the family was going to change so much and so quickly.

“Usually, the organisation of the birthday is for only one child, but in this case, we end up with nine children,” said Arby with a smile.

The parents of the nonuplets receive aid from their families, from the Malian government and from an NGO to provide food, education and general care of the kids.

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