Nairobi, 20 October 2022 (TDI): Kenya celebrates October 20 as the national Mashujaa day also famous as National Heroes’ Day. “Mashujaa” means “heroes” in the Swahili language.
Mashujja day is commemorated as a national holiday in Kenya to honor the heroes who participated and sacrificed, in not only Kenya’s pre-independence but also post-independence struggles.
The old name of Mashujaa day was Kenyatta Day named after Jomo Kenyatta. Jomo Kenyatta was the pioneer freedom fighter for Kenya’s independence.
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Kenyatta Day was originally celebrated to mark the sacrifices made by the six famous freedom fighters of Kenya and their detention in Kapenguiria.
The six famous freedom fighters aka the Kapenguria Six were Jomo Kenyatta, Achieng’ Oneko, Bildad Kaggia, Paul Ngei, Fred Kubai, and Kung’u Karumba.
However, Kenyatta Day was renamed Mashujaa day in 2010 after the constitution of Kenya was declared the supreme law of the land.
British Colonization of Kenya (1901-1960)
The British colonized Kenya in 1901. The primary objective of colonization was to extract Kenya’s resources while enjoying its comfortable weather and using the indigenous farmers to work and develop the European land.
The British adopted the policy of ‘Divide and Conquer’ in country strife with ethnic issues. During their stay in Kenya, the British were infamous for their discriminatory practices, promoting racism and enforcing migration of the locals.
This resulted in widespread discontent among the people of Kenya which led to a renewed rebellion against British rule.
The real struggle for freedom started when Jomo Kenyatta was arrested and later detained by the British along with his comrades in charge of rebellion against the crown by executing the Mau Mau movement.
Mau Mau’s group of rebels was the mastermind of overthrowing the British government in Kenya at that time. Kenya appeared on the map of the world as an independent nation in 1964.
This happened as a result of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters like Jomo Kenyatta, who later served as the first president of Kenya. Each year, Mashujaa Day is celebrated in Kenya on 20th October to honor the founders of an independent Kenya.