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Mali Nonuplets Celebrate Second Birthday

Relatives hold Malian nonuplets during their second birthday celebration in Bamako, Mali on Saturday May 6, 2023.

BAMAKO, MALI — They made headlines two years ago by breaking the Guinness record of the most living births at once - nine! -Fatouma, Kadidia, Hawa, Adama, Oumou, Bah, Mohammed, Oumar and Elhadji.

The nonuplets celebrated their birthday for the first time at home in Mali. The occasion on Saturday was attended by relatives, friends and even their pediatrician.

"I thank God for allowing me to celebrate my children's two-year birthdays at home, in Mali," Halima Cisse, mother of the nonuplets told the Associated Press.

"Last year we celebrated the birthday in Morocco (where they were born) and today we celebrate the birthday at home," Cisse said, adding "I thank God for this because it means a lot. We have all the members of the family here; I am very happy. It is a grace of God. The children are doing well too."

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.

Cisse, 27, 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 5 2021, the young mother gave birth to nine instead of seven kids - five girls and four boys.

Boubacar Togo, the nonuplets' pediatrician, celebrated the "scientific achievement" of their second birthday.

Cisse said raising nine babies at the same time is quite the task, adding that she's been relying on family support.

"It is not easy," she said.

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

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

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

Boubacar Togo, the nonuplets' pediatrician, celebrated the "scientific achievement" of their second birthday.

Mali Nonuplets Celebrate Second Birthday
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