Follow the ‘Countdown to 50′ Campaign! Every single week of the 50 weeks between January 2013 and Kenya’s 50th Anniversary of Independence on 12th December 2013 we are going to highlight one of the 50 Treasures of Kenya with stunning pictures, practical travel information and personal impressions.
This week we will be featuring one of our intangible attractions,we will be highlighting :
Our Identity; the Unifying Treasure
Kenya’s flag is the true ideal of our national unity which reflects the momentous historical events that shaped our country. It’s a stately composition consisting of three equal-sized horizontal stripes of black, red and green, each holding a symbolic significance for the country.
The colour black symbolizes Kenya’s black majority, red for their bloodshed during the fight for freedom and green for our Land. The stripes are separated by two thinner white stripes embodying peace and unity. The final detail is a large Maasai warrior’s shield covered with crossed spears which are featured over the flag’s center which signify that all Kenyans are always ready to defend the independence they fought so hard for.
Our nation unlike many African countries has been a relatively stable and peaceful democratic nation which has endured even through some critical civil unrest at some significant points. All in all our society has thrived through colonial rule and one-party rule to a multiparty democracy which now enjoys one of the most progressive bills of rights in the world after the promulgation of a new constitution on August 27, 2010.
And in this appreciation of the outstanding symbols of our nationhood it’s only appropriate to give proper recognition to Kenya’s national song which is as rich as that of the country and her people in every regard indeed. It was essential that a homegrown national anthem which addressed our values as a nation be in place before the great day of our independence after we were conferred with our mantle of sovereignty and freedom from our colonial masters in 1963. A song which we could raise our country’s banner to and march towards our glorious destiny as a proud nation.
Our anthem is modeled on native Pokomo in order to reflect the idioms of the traditional music of Kenya. It was composed by the then Kenya Music Adviser Graham Hyslop, George Senoga- Zake, Prof. Washington Omondi, Thomas Kilume and Peter Kibukosya. This five-member commission which was constituted by the government settled on a traditional Pokomo tune sang by mothers to their children after considering many tunes from diverse parts of the country. The Pokomo people are predominantly agriculturalists and fresh water fishermen residing in the Tana River District along the Tana which happens to be Kenya’s longest river.
The lyrics of our national song express the highest aspirations and deepest convictions of Kenyans as a whole where the nation of Kenya seeks special prayers and blessings from God, the creator of this universe to protect the land of Kenya. It also focuses on the varied heritage of the country which forms an essential part of our identity.
It’s now our pleasure and honor to share the inspiring words of the Kenya’s National Anthem as this week’s feature highlight. Beloved people may we always stand together as a blessed nation and pray that…
O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity
Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders.
Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavour
And our homeland of Kenya
Heritage of splendour
Firm may we stand to defend.
Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.
All of us if not most concur that we can only appreciate where we have come from as a nation if we examine the influences of the nineteenth century; ‘the era of nationalist ideas’, as some call it before we can learn more about the many notions which are compelling impulses for the better understanding of our social values. Starting from Kenya’s occupation the years before the Lancaster House Conferences to the promulgation of our new constitution we should all keep our national vision and values in perspective.
The upcoming General Elections under new Constitution will put consequential power in the hands of people. Apart from the fact that regardless of the Elections 2013 is still our Golden Jubilee. A year of both examination and reflection on the substantial changes and our development as a country. Our free media and the freedom of speech may elevate us over many other African states but away from addressing our political and social frustrations. This is our time to take responsibility and progressive action; it’s our opportunity to participate in the way our society, community and nation is shaped and maintained.
As we prepare for the next General Elections, hardly a week from now, in the wake of multicultural and democratic notions of the self as an interrelated part of society’s life. Notions such as: nation, nationhood, nationalism, nationalist, have evoked poignant sentiments amongst people, movements, governments, whose main concern is to elevate our national status. That is why this year is one to celebrate as we mark our 50th Anniversary of independence on Jamhuri Day or Uhuru Day as we remember it.
We still believe that Kenya has not only made the grade but will always excel as a people.Every single person counts as far as nationhood means more than just participating at the ballots;that through national cooperation the outcome would be more than just the sum of the parts – 2 plus 2 making 6 or even 8, so to speak. With all of that is Kenya’s its diverse places, her beautiful faces and our different cases,we have said it before and again that we will always have confidence in our Treasures. Regardless of all our contrasting convictions it is without dispute that Kenya is advancing impressively from the surviving station we have contended with in to a thriving nation worth all its weight in gold.
Our Golden Jubilee is here at last and not a moment too soon if we may add.We must however continue to learn how to give a better share of our attention as a country to common causes for it would pay off in abundant ways for us, for others and most of all for our Treasured Kenya.
God has and will always bless Kenya and we in our special way will always treasure Kenya!
We trust that this has been informative to you. Take it a step further and spread the message: like it, share it, Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter and stay posted for the next Treasure.
Until the next time its many thanks from the 50 Treasures of Kenya Trust for every contribution in this feature with special mention made to Mr.Harmut Fiebig for the wonderful photography and most of all to you our treasured audience for your company.
You are highly treasured.