Tomorrow 20th October 2015 marks “Mashujaa Day, also known as Heroes’ Day. “Mashujaa” is Swahili for “heroes. It is a national day in Kenya, which is observed on 20 October as a public holiday to collectively honour all those who contributed towards the struggle for Kenya’s independence or positively contributed in the post independence Kenya.
This day was previously previously known as Kenyatta Day, which was celebrated to commemorate the detention in Kapenguria of freedom fighters Achieng’ Oneko, Bildad Kaggia, Fred Kubai, Jomo Kenyatta, Kung’u Karumba and Paul Ngei, often referred to as the Kapenguria Six. However, following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in August 2010, Kenyatta Day was renamed Mashujaa Day.
For some people, Mashujaa Day is viewed as a holiday just to have a long weekend and party-especially in some years when it falls around Friday or Monday. For many families in Kenya it will also be a time to remember their lost loved ones-those who died while fighting and advocating for our freedoms in the distant or near past, as well as others who were serving in the disciplined forces, especially in recent years.
These individuals were drawn from different parts of our country and went through lots of sacrifices shedding their blood and paying a price so that we, belonging to a different generation, live a better and free life and dare I say, die free. We owe them a debt that cannot be repaid and we should not take this freedom for granted.
On this day, to honour our fallen heroes, we’ve gathered a compilation of poems.
The first one is:
Remember Them by Jeff Hooker
Lying here beneath this ground
Never again to make a sound
When alive, they were so brave
And carried honour into the grave
They were all the best of men
Courage earned by all of them
Medals pinned upon their chest
At last the peace, of final rest
In the ranks they stood so strong
Voices raised in battle songs
Marching forward defying fear
For the land they loved so dear
On that final Judgement Day
When they all stand up to say
We gave up all we owned you see
At duties call to set men free
So when the flag waves in the wind
If but a moment, Remember Them
For they all paid the final cost
So freedoms truth, would not be lost
The second poem:
“Peace’ by Amanda Bradley:
Peace will come when people live in friendship, side by side and cherish understanding more than hatred, greed and pride.
Peace will come when people see all people as the same,and no one has to live in fear, in ignorance, or shame.
Peace will come when people who are needy can reach out for shelter, food, or love, and no has to do without.
Peace will come when people learn to listen and to care about the rights and dignity of people everywhere.
Peace will come when love and trust and kindness know rebirth,
And on that day all people will rejoice in peace on earth.
I am so proud to be the daughter of a soldier and to have experienced what a life of honour, duty look like. But one does not have to be a soldier to be brave, courageous or duty-bound.
We all make sacrifices every day, when we choose to do what is honourable and right. May we have the courage to keep going and shunning the forces that would so easily encumber us, especially with what we see going on around us.
To all our disciplined forces:
You all encompass the best of men and women. Duty, Honour, Courage and Sacrifice. We are truly grateful for all that you endure and have given through the years, for the price freedom. We salute you.
God bless Kenya.
Happy Mashujaa Day!
PS: Honour your ‘shujaa’ with the meruti medal box. A perfect way to celebrate their sacrifice by beautfully showcasing their medals.