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Mashujaa Day: Kenya celebrates national heroes and heroines amid political crisis

#Greetings from Kenya which is celebrating Mashujaa Day in honour of its national heroes, and heroines who took part in the fight for independence and for those who contributed in various ways in post independent Kenya.




Today is Mashujaa Day (Mashujaa means “heroes” in Swahili) and Kenyans remember and honour its heroes and heroines who gave their lives during the country’s liberation struggle.

Previously known as Kenyatta Day, the event was celebrated with pomp and colour, flocking stadia and public places to celebrate the contributions of the Kapenguria Six and the other heroes in struggle.

In 2010, after long discussions on a new Constitution, the day’s name was changed to Mashujaa Day, and now included the post-independence heroes. Some of the celebrated heroes include sports personalities, second liberation heroes and even ordinary Kenyans doing extra ordinary things in their communities.

As Kenyans celebrate Mashujaa Day, it is a time for reflection on the historical and present day circumstances.   From poverty, injustice, impunity and insecurity, Kenyans still have quite a number of issues to address.


National_Monument_at_Uhuru_Park Photo: Ian Alexander /Flickr

This year’s celebration comes just six days before the repeat presidential elections, which might cast a shadow on the day.  The repeat elections has already been marred with police violence, uncertainty and even mass protests, bringing into question the future of the country.

Read: Greetings Africa from Nairobi’s Uhuru Park

President Uhuru Kenyatta will preside over the celebrations at Uhuru Park in Nairobi. The opposition leader, Raila Odinga yesterday announced there would be parallel celebrations to honour the protestors killed by the police officers in demonstrations for electoral reforms.

It is not the first time for parallel national celebrations. In 2016, the opposition leaders held parallel Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Park while President Kenyatta conducted the official celebrations at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

However, Kenyans choose to celebrate, we, at TIA, would like to wish all Kenyans a happy Mashujaa Day.