“Our march to freedom has been long and difficult. There have been times of despair when only the burning conviction of the rightness of our cause has sustained us. Today the tragedies and misunderstandings of the past are behind us. Today, we start on the great adventure of building the Kenyan nation.” This is part of the speech the first president of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta gave on 12th December 1963 midnight marking the end of the colonial rule and beginning of my beloved country Kenya. The following are 5 reasons to why I’m proud to be Kenyan!
1) Our Heroes
Our forefathers led by the likes of Dedan Kimathi lost their lives fighting for our country’s independence. In the 1990’s during the 2nd liberation many others were killed, tortured and maimed by the oppressive regime. The young turks relentlessly fought for multi-party democracy.
50 years after independence this fighter’s spirit is still ingrained in the Kenyans hearts. The likes of Mohamed Ali and Allan Namu who expose criminal dealings, Boniface Mwangi who inexorably fights for the rights of poor and the Kenya Defense Forces who put their lives on the line fighting terrorism to ensure our safety. I salute you all modern Kenyan heroes!
2) Magical Land
From the white sand beaches on the south coast, the breath-taking landscape of Rift Valley to the beautiful sunsets in Lake Victoria. Kenya is endowed with enchanting beauty, that whoever visits Kenya for the first time will certainly make an effort to come back again. There is a large variety of tourist spots one can visit. From resort hotels, museums, game parks to mountain climbing and nature trails.
The land is also fertile as we produce the world’s best coffee, tea and flowers. We also have precious natural resources like titanium in Kwale, Oil in Turkana and coal in Ukambani. Kenya is simply magical!
3) Amazing people
Kenya is the home to marathon champions like Ezekiel Kemboi, the late Prof Wangari Maathai a Nobel Peace Prize winner and innovators. Incubation centers like NaiLab and iHub have given a chance to the young techno-savvy Kenyans a chance to develop life transforming mobile applications like Mpesa. The entrepreneurial has taken root in Kenya witnessed by the huge number of venture capitalist flocking the country.
Kenya is the land of opportunities. Thousands have risen from abject poverty to build vast business empires, all due to their ingenuity and business acumen. It’s amazing how Kenyan social entrepreneurs can turn problems into a viable business idea. Meet Moses Nderitu, a former television producer who has made a fortune out of managing human waste.
4) Philanthropy nature
There are 42 tribes in Kenya, all coexisting in perfect harmony. Despite holding diverse religious beliefs, traditions, and practices we are bound together by a strong bond of nationhood. Kenyans are philanthropic in nature. Kenyans go out of their way to help the fellow citizens in time of need and the less fortunate. When major disasters occur like the famine and deaths from starvation in Turkana back in July 2011 Kenyans came out in large numbers contributing for the “Kenyans for Kenya” initiative raising over Ksh 1 billion to go towards alleviating the starvation and developing projects to give a lasting solution to this perennial problem.
On 21st September 2013 terrorists attacked the upmarket Westgate shopping mall in Kenya holding the shoppers’ hostage for 4 days. Their mission was to flare up religious tensions and cause disunity among Kenyans, for that they failed miserably. This horrifying incident brought together citizens from all walks of lives. All over the country, Kenyans donated blood in large numbers to save those that needed it most. My heart goes out to all those who lost their loved ones in the Westgate mall attack. I acknowledge all those that donated blood, risked their lives to save the innocent victims and those that coordinated the rescue operations. Forever we shall hold you dear in our hearts.
As a country we still face lots problems but I believe we will surmount them all and get to achieve our fore fathers dreams. I’m proudly Kenyan!
By Mark Maish