A Year Like No Other: 2020 in Pictures

By Carole Kimutai and Kagure Gacheche

It started out as the year of double-double; and it delivered - but not in the way we thought it would.

2020 will not be forgotten. It goes down in history as a year that united the world in fear, grief, struggle and hope.

It brought us together in unprecedented ways, redefined priorities and taught us to find joy in the things we took for granted.

2020 equalised us. It stretched us. It gave us reason to feel deep pain but also take great pride in the resilience of humankind.

At the Standard Group Plc, our journalists and editors kept audiences informed throughout the year. We are privileged to have captured it in pictures. It wasn’t easy. The media industry faced and still faces its own challenges but we have seen a silver lining. We have kept our mandate to be the eyes, ears and voice of the voiceless.

We have selected a few of the hundreds of thousands of pictures we have in our gallery. It was not easy. We had a lot of back and forth; we are argued, we laughed, we shed a tear as we sieved through these images that will define 2020 for us.

These photos go beyond news. They are personal to us. Some you may have seen in our newspapers, social media accounts or website. Others you will see for the very first time here.

When all is said and done, we are grateful to have ended the year ALIVE. Enjoy!

JANUARY

New Year's Day celebrations


Children enjoy a bouncing castle at Karatina Grounds in Mathira, Nyeri, on January 1, 2020.

Photo: Kibata Kihu, Standard
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Fireworks display
Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi lights up the skies on January 1, 2020. Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard

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Riding high
It’s fun, games and camel riding at the Jomo Kenyatta Public Beach in Mombasa on January 1, 2020. Photo: Omondi Onyango, Standard

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Lamu attack
Soldiers at the Manda Bay Military Camp take cover after al Shabaab militants attack the Manda Simba camp, a US military camp on January 5, 2020. The militants were eventually repelled. Photo: Jane Mugambi, Standard

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Form one admission
Students and parents camp outside administration offices at Kakamega High School on January 13, 2020, waiting to clear the enrolment process. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard

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Kiunjuri exits
Mwangi Kiunjuri moves to greet a supporter after a press conference he called on January 14, 2020 to address his being sacked as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary following a tumultuous few months. Photo: David Njaaga, Standard

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Locally made plane fails to launch
Brian Kipkurui, 23, an electrical engineering student at Nairobi Technical Training Institute, tests an airplane he made in Kimumu, Uasin Gishu County. It didn’t take off, which he blamed on there not being enough of a runway to test it on, as well as the closeness of the crowd that surrounded his craft. Photo: Peter Ochieng, Standard

FEBRUARY

What went wrong?


A team from the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, led by First Vice President Jane Mutulili, inspects Kakamega Primary School after 14 pupils died in a stampede on February 3, 2020. The team said the institution urgently required additional stairs in the middle of the main building to ensure pupils can move freely in case of an emergency. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard
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State funeral
The late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi’s cortege arrives in Kabarak, Nakuru County, ahead of his State burial service. President Moi died on February 4, 2020. Photo: PSCU

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Last respects
Officers from the Kenya Defence Forces carry out last military honours ahead of the burial of the late retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi at his Kabarak home. Photo: PSCU

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Invasion
Police officers raid former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa’s home in Karen on February 3, 2020. Photo: David Gichuru

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In the spotlight
Cameras outside 33-year-old Sergeant John Kipyegon Kenei’s home in Imara Daima, where his body was found on February 20, 2020. Kenei, who was one of the guards at the Office of the Deputy President, died from a gunshot wound. Photo: David Gichuru, Standard

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A different kind of invasion
A man in Tenges ward, Baringo Central, attempts to chase a swarm of locusts that had invaded the area on February 23, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

MARCH

Fumigation becomes commonplace


An officer from the Public Health Department fumigates Gikomba market in Nairobi after the government scaled up the sanitisation of public spaces in the city following the announcement of the first case of Covid-19 in Kenya on March 13, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard
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Church in Covid-19 times
A service is conducted at Deliverance Church in Nakuru during on March 22, 2020. A few days later, the government ordered the closure of churches and mosques in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Likoni stampede
Residents of Likoni and Ukunda are forced to lie on the ground after police attempts to ensure safety measures are observed at the Likoni Ferry crossing flopped on March 28, 2020, leading to running battles and the firing of teargas. Photo: Gideon Maundu, Standard

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Changing face of street safety
Nairobi County Fire and Rescue Department staff deploy fire engines and tankers to clean open spaces along city streets on March 29, 2020. Photo: David Gichuru, Standard

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Joint effort
Mombasa County Fire Department Services workers spray disinfection chemicals along city streets to contain the spread of Covid-19 on March 29, 2020. Photo: Gideon Maundu, Standard

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Safety by any means
Children use pieces of paper to protect themselves in Dandora, Nairobi, on March 27, 2020. Photo: Jonah Onyango, Standard

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Seeking divine help
Kaya elders hold prayers at Uhuru Gardens in Mombasa County on March 19, 2020, over the coronavirus disease. Photo: Kelvin Karani, Standard

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No longer business as usual
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe addresses the press over Covid-19 developments on March 20, 2020 as Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna (centre) and Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Mohamed Badi look on. Photo: Jonah Onyango, Standard

APRIL

Celebrating sacrifice


Pilots line up outside Lee Funeral Home on April 4, 2020 as the cortege carrying Kenya Airways pilot Daudi Kibati’s body drives out. Kibati died on April 1 due to Covid-19 complications. Photo: Philip Muasya, Standard
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Farewell, Ndingi
Catholic bishops walk from the crypt during Archbishop Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki’s funeral service at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi on April 7, 2020. The retired archbishop died on March 31 aged 88. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Clean up
Nairobi County Public Health officials fumigate apartments and shops in Kasarani to control the spread of Covid-19 on April 6, 2020. Photo: John Muchucha, Standard

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Travel Ban
Machakos County Commander Karanja Muiruri examines a travel document from a man travelling to Machakos town at the Small World road block on April 10, 2020. This followed a government directive restricting the movement of people in and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area, Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties on April 6. Photo: Peterson Githaiga, Standard

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Masks en masse
Workers at Manchester Outfitters along Dunga Road, Nairobi, mass produce face masks and personal protective equipment on April 29, 2020 to meet local demand. Photo: Samson Wire, Standard

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All aboard
Kenya Railways staff fumigate a commuter train on April 30, 2020 at the Nairobi Central Railway Station before passengers get on board. Photo: Edward Kiplimo, Standard

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Girl feeds doves
A young girl feeds doves with rice along Muindi Mbingu Street in Nairobi on April 26, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Food donation for flood victims
Red Cross Secretary General Aisha Mohamed addresses residents of Ombaka in Nyando, Kisumu County, after distributing food items on April 29, 2020. More than 150 households were displaced by floods. Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard

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Graffiti awareness
A man walk past graffiti paintings on houses at the Buxton county government flats that are being used to raise awareness on Covid-19 in Mombasa on April 26, 2020. Photo: Gideon Maundu, Standard

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Nyando hit by floods
A man wades away from his home on April 25, 2020 after heavy downpour around Nyando flooded villages, displacing hundreds. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

MAY

The Baringo modelling sensation


Four-year-old Joy Jebiwott poses with a bottle of Coke at her home in Kamalanget village in Emining, Baringo County on May 25, 2020. She became a viral sensation after a photo of her drinking soda was shared on social media. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard
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Testing local ventilators
Felix Sabulei and his brother Eric Kipchirchir test a ventilator machine they made in Mosoriot, Nandi County, on May 4, 2020 in an effort to support the fight against Covid-19. Photo: Peter Ochieng, Standard

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Swatting locusts
A man uses sticks to chase desert locusts that have invaded and destroyed vegetation in Mugur, Samburu County. Photo: Nanjinia Wamuswa, Standard

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Burying Tecra
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his wife Ida lay a wreath on Keroche heiress Tecra Muigai’s gravesite in Karai, Naivasha on May 16, 2020. Photo: Antony Gitonga, Standard

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Bishop Wanjiru discharged
Former Starehe MP Bishop Margaret Wanjiru addresses a press conference at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi on May 30, 2020 shortly after she was discharged from the hospital where she had been admitted after developing Covid-19 symptoms. Photo: David Njaaga, Standard

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Electric Sanitisation booth
Residents of Soko Mjinga in Nakuru Town West crowd inside an electric sanitisation booth on May 29, 2020 to test it. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

JUNE

Waiguru’s impeachment hearing


Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru plays Solitaire on her phone during a Senate hearing on June 23, 2020 following an impeachment motion filed against her in her county. Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard
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Nairobi- Nanyuki test run
Leaders from Laikipia and Nyeri counties, among others, aboard a train testing the Nairobi-Nyeri-Nanyuki railway line ahead of its official opening. Photo Jacinta Mutura, Standard

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Teargas over Jaguar arrest
A supporter of Starehe MP Charles Njagua, better known as Jaguar, is arrested outside Nairobi police headquarters on June 29, 2020. The MP was arrested following remarks he made over the allocation of space at the Mwariro Market. Photo: Jacinta Mutura, Standard

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Car boot sales
Kenyans sell groceries out of their vehicles along the Eastern Bypass near Windsor Hotel, converting the area into an informal market. Layoffs brought on by the pandemic forced people to find creative ways to make money. Photo: Maxwell Agwanda

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Children labour to feed their families
Children who are out of school because of Covid-19 harvest sand in River Kibos, Kisumu County, to supplement household incomes on June 28, 2020. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

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Fighting corruption
Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu await a ruling from Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Juma on June 25, 2020. They were found guilty of fraud and illegally acquiring Sh297 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board. Photo: David Njaaga, Standard

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World Blood Donor Day
Blood samples during a World Blood Donor Day drive held at KICC in Nairobi on June 13, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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A quiet Budget day
Finance Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani reads the 2020-21 Budget to just a handful of MPs at the National Assembly in Nairobi on June 11, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Mourners defy rules
A section of the huge crowd that turned up to bury ohangla musician Bernard ‘Abenny Jachinga’ Onyango confront the police ahead of his funeral service in Chiga, Kisumu County, on June 12, 2020. Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard

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‘I can’t breathe’ tribute
Daniel Owino, a Kibra community leader, stands in front of a graffiti painting of African-American George Floyd, who was killed by police officers in the US. Owino said the community drew the graffiti to raise awareness on police brutality and extra-judicial killings. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

JULY

Lake Baringo’s rising waters


An Ostrich walks the streets near Soi Safari Lodge after Lake Baringo’s waters swelled on July 21, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard
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Children play as schools stay closed
Children play at their home in Lessos village, Nandi County on July 13, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Lost to the virus
Dr Doreen Lugaliki’s twin daughters are comforted by a family member during their mother’s funeral at Ndalu village in Bungoma County on July 13, 2020. Dr Lugaliki succumbed to Covid-19. Photo: Kevin Tunoi, Standard

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Marking Eid ul Adha
A man slaughters a goat in South C, Nairobi, during Eid ul Adha celebrations on July 31, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Honouring obedience
Muslims observe social distance protocols as they pray at Masjid Ummu Kulthum in Mombasa on July 31, 2020 ahead of Eid ul Adha celebrations. Photo: Omondi Onyango, Standard

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Covid-19 briefing
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe adjusts his mask to address the media at Afya House in Nairobi on the Covid-19 pandemic on July 31, 2020. Photo: David Gichuru, Standard

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Kenya at the World Chess Online Olympiad
National ladies champion 2019 Lucy Wanjiru competes in the World Chess Online Olympiad at a Nairobi hotel on July 31, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Lost to the virus
Men in personal protective equipment carry a casket with the body of the late PCEA Secretary General Peter Kariuki at the Church of the Torch in Kikuyu on July 30, 2020. Photo: Hudson Wainaina, Standard

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Uhuru on call
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru via video call during the launch of Google Loon technology, in collaboration with Telkom Kenya, in Radat, Baringo County, on July 8, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

AUGUST

Reopening the skies


A Kenya Airways flight attendant walks through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on resumption of international flights on August 1, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard
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Debating the county cash allocation formula
From left, senators Ledama ole Kina (Narok), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi), Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Markwet), Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi), Kindiki Kithure (Tharaka Nithi) and Enoch Wambua (Kitui) after a Senate seating on revenue allocation to counties in Nairobi on August 4, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Remembering August 7
Hadija Abdalla, one of the victims of the 1998 US Embassy bombing, lights a candle at the blast’s memorial part in Nairobi on August 7, 2020, marking 22 years since the tragic event. It was a low-key event given Covid-19 protocols. Photo: Collins Kweyu, Standard

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The Expressway takes shape
Construction of the Westlands-JKIA Expressway gets underway on August 7, 2020. Upon completion, it is expected to decongest the busy route. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Drink up
A child drinks water from a wash basins installed along Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi's CBD on August 8, 2020. They did not last long, however, after they were vandalised and poorly maintained. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Lost to the virus
Ministry of Health officials help bury Nairobi University lecturer Ken Ouko, who died of Covid-19 complications, in his Nyandiwa village in Oyugis, Rachuonyo South on August 7, 2020. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

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Wildebeest migration at the Mara
Wildebeest cross the Mara River on August 8, 2020. Photo: Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard

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Mitumba traders protest
Mitumba traders protest in Nakuru town on August 12, 2020 over government delays in providing safety guidelines on the importation of second-hand clothes. Police officers eventually lobbed teargas to disperse the crowd that gathered. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

SEPTEMBER

It takes a village


Kaptembwo Assistant Chief Charles Monari talks to a group of girls on family planning and reproductive health in Kaptembwo Estate, Nakuru West, on September 3, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard
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Officers set up camp in the Mau
GSU officers set up camp at Ogiek Secondary School in eastern Mau on September 16, 2020 following ethnic violence between communities living in Neissuit and Mariashoni areas in Njoro and Molo. Eight people had been killed between June and September. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Cyclists campaign for safety
Cyclists ride along Kenyatta Avenue in Nairobi on September 19, 2020 to raise public awareness on road safety after one of their colleagues, Caleb Omwoyo, died on September 16, 2020 following a collision with a bus along Thika Road. Photo: David Njaaga, Standard

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Raising awareness
Kakamega Main Prison Band, led by Sgt Tom Orem, rehearse a new release, ‘Janga la corona’ aimed at raising awareness on the pandemic on September 11, 2020. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard

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Back to school
Kibos Prison inmates clean classrooms at the Kibos Prison Primary School in Kisumu County on September 28, 2020 in preparation for a possible reopening. Grade 4, Class 8 and Form 4 learners eventually went back to in-person learning on October 12. Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard

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Relocating power lines
Kenya Power workers relocate power lines to pave way for the Nairobi expressway in Westlands along Waiyaki Way on ‎September ‎25, ‎2020. Photo: David Gichuru, Standard

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Nurses on strike
A family wheels away their patient after nurses at Kenyatta National Hospital went on strike on September 29, 2020, to push for protective equipment and better compensation. Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard

OCTOBER

Kenya vs Zambia


Harambee Stars striker Cliff Nyakeya battles for the ball before scoring against Zambia during a friendly match at the Nyayo National Stadium on October 9, 2020. The match ended 2-1 in Kenya’s favour. Photo: Kelly Ayodi, Standard
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Learning resumes
A teacher speaks to candidates at MM Shahromary School in Kisumu County after schools resumed for the third term countrywide on October 12, 2020. Photo: Collins Oduor, Standard

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Play in the time of Covid-19
Grade 4 learners during a physical education class at Nyali Primary School in Mombasa on October 12, 2020. Photo: Omondi Onyango, Standard

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Gor gets a new coach
Gor Mahia FC coach Roberto Oliveira Goncalves from Brazil is formally introduced to his team at Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi on October 12, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Coming first
Kenya’s Peres Jepchirchir runs towards the finish line at the World Half Marathon in Poland on October 17, 2020. Photo: World Athletics

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Inside Manyani
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto inspect guns made in Kenya by innovative youth who showcased multi-agency projects to the Head of State during his visit to the Kenya Wildlife Service Law Enforcement Academy in Manyani on October 16, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Lost to the virus
Pauline Nunu, a nurse who succumbed to Covid-19 while being moved to Nairobi from Isiolo for treatment, is buried in Isiolo on October 24, 2020. Photo: Bruno Mutunga, Standard

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Shutting down Tuskys
Staff at Tuskys Magic branch in Nakuru town protest after the retailer shut down their branch on October 31, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Kip Keino Classic
Kimeli Nicholas celebrates winning the 5,000m race against Teklehaimanot Argawi of Ethiopia during the inaugural Kip Keino Classic World Athletics Continental Tour at the Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi, on October 4, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Launching BBI
Delegates during the official launch of the Building Bridges to a United Kenya Task Force Report at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on October 26, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

NOVEMBER

State of the Nation


President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Parliament buildings for his State of the Nation address on November 12, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard
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Staying safe
Military officers check that they are far enough from each other in line with social distancing protocols in the face of the pandemic on November 12, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Crossing the Ts
A military officer wipes off a spot on his senior’s shoes ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address in Nairobi on November 12, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard

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Taking on Zimbabwe
Kenya's Fatuma Zarika (left) and Zimbabwe's Patience Mastara during a weigh-in in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on November 12, 2020. Zarika won the match to become the World Boxing Federation’s female featherweight champion. Photo: Courtesy

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Safety volunteers
Volunteers from SK Murage Foundation walk towards Railways area in Nakuru town to fumigate the streets on November 21, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Women take on crocodile-infested waters
Women harvest sand in crocodile-infested River Migori at Wuoth-Ogik area on November 27, 2020 in Migori County. They sell a bucket of sand at Sh20. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

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Graduation to manhood
A section of the 10,000 initiates who graduated to manhood at Mungavo Primary School in Hamisi, Vihiga County on November 30, 2020. The Tiriki initiates graduated after spending 30 days in the forest and were given a new name, Kaplelachi. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard.

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The business of skeletons
Mary Akinyi, a trader, at her stall where she and others process ‘mgongo wazi’ in Obunga in Kisumu city on November 30, 2020. The fish skeletons, which are rejects from fish processing plants, are dried and then deep fried. They are used for soup. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

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Fragile business
Traders carry pots to Oriang' market in Homa Bay County on November 29, 2020. The traders have to carry the fragile pots on their heads, trekking for kilometres because there are no public vehicles designed to accommodate the pots, which are sold at Sh1,000 each and used to store and cool drinking water. Photo: Denish Ochieng, Standard

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Getaway
Police arrest Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko moments after dispersing his meeting with MCAs at a private residence alongside Riverside Drive in Nairobi on Monday, November 30, 2020. Photo: David Njaaga, Standard

DECEMBER

Hope for a cure


A nurse administers the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a man at a vaccination centre on the first day of the largest immunisation programme in the British history, in Cardiff, Wales, on December 8, 2020, raising hope for the rest of the world that a way out of the pandemic was on the horizon. Photo: Reuters
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The Fawcus cup and Moi Trophy
Gideon Moi (in front) of John Deere Black battles with Kimoi Moi of Mascor Blue during the Fawcus Cup and Moi Trophy at Manyatta Polo Club in Gilgil, Nakuru County, on December 11, 2020. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Swimming pool for all
A street child jumps into the manmade pond in Nairobi’s Uhuru Park on December 8, 2020. Photo: Edward Kiplimo, Standard

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A hero’s welcome
Half marathon world record holder Kibiwott Kandie’s convoy weaves its way through Cheberen Vilage in Mogotio, Baringo County, as he is welcomed home on December 10, 2020. Kandie smashed the half marathon world record at the Valencia Half Marathon on Sunday, becoming the first person ever to break 58 minutes. Kandie ran 57:32, breaking Geoffrey Kamworor’s previous record, which he set in 2019, by 29 seconds. Photo: Kipsang Joseph, Standard

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Jamhuri Day
A young Kenyan follows proceedings as a military officer salutes during this year's Jamhuri Day celebrations that were presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on December 12, 2020. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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March past
Military officers during this year’s Jamhuri Day celebrations at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi. Photo: Elvis Ogina, Standard

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Standing strong
Young initiates of the Abang'ayo sub-tribe of the Wanga community sing and dance at the Matungu cultural area in Kakamega County during celebrations to mark their graduation to manhood on December 13, 2020. Photo: Benjamin Sakwa, Standard

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Lack of market
Sheep feed on plums at Jambini in Nyandarua County after farmers failed to find an adequate market for their fruit harvest on December 17, 2020. Photo: Mercy Kahenda, Standard a

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Repurposing a stadium
Kamukunji Stadium in Nyeri, which was previously used by footballers and athletes for training, has been converted into a market to accommodate traders who previously operated along Gakere Road. Photo: Mose Sammy, Standard

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Tea farmers protest
Tea farmers protest outside Milimani court in Nairobi on December 17, 2020, over a case involving the Kenya Tea Development Authority and demand that their voices be heard, too. Photo: Collins Kweyu, Standard

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Travel rush
Nairobi residents wait for public transport to their rural homes at the Machakos country bus station on December 23, 2020. Photo: Edward Kiplimo, Standard

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A pandemic Christmas in the park
David Macharia plays with his camel at Uhuru Park as he entertains Nairobians who could not make it to their rural homes to celebrate Christmas Day on December 25, 2020. Photo: Stafford Ondego, Standard


    Project team:
  • Carole Kimutai, Managing Editor, Digital
  • Kagure Gacheche, Editor, Print
  • Maxwell Agwanda, Photo Editor
  • Prestone Otieno, Web Developer