The soldier husband of Halma Cisse Arby, who gave birth to nine babies this week, is preparing for a joyful first meeting with his new children next week, saying: ‘They are gifts from God!’
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, an ecstatic adjutant Kader Arby, 35, said: ‘I can’t wait to see my new children.
‘I have been in constant touch with my wife, but I had to stay at our home in Mali to look after our other little daughter, who is just two years and five months.’
Halma, 26, and her husband are shown in this exclusive set of wedding photos from the three-day long celebration they shared in December 2017 in Timbuktu.
‘Travel is of course difficult because of the pandemic, but we are arranging a trip for next week,’ Mr Arby added.
‘It will be a very joyful, and we will be thanking God the whole time. Our children are gifts from God.’
Mr Arby is a career soldier, serving as adjutant in the Malian Army, an administrative rank which is roughly equivalent to captain, but has been given plenty of time off to deal with his expanding family.
Among those who have been in touch by phone are Bah Ndaw, the President of Mali.
‘So many people have expressed joy and kindness towards us,’ said Mr Arby. ‘We are very blessed.
‘The babies are God’s children, and they will be cared for by God.’
Asked if he or his wife had chosen the names of their nonuplets – five girls and four boys delivered by caesarean section – Mr Arby laughed and said: ‘We will see!’
The multiple births have captured the imagination of everyone in the west African nation, as well as millions of others around the world.
Halma’s pregnancy became a subject of fascination in Mali – even when it was thought she was only carrying septuplets