FLAG & ANTHEM

flagandanthem

The Kenyan flag is based on that of Kenya African National Union and was adopted in December 12, 1963 as the country’s flag. The color black represents the people of the Republic of Kenya, red for the blood shed during the fight for independence, green for the country’s landscape and the white fimbriation was added later to symbolize peace and honesty. The black, red, and white traditional Maasai shield and two spears symbolize the defense of all the things mentioned above.

National Anthem

Lyrics

Kiswahili                     		 English
   1                                        1

Ee Mungu nguvu yetu               O God of all creation
 Ilete baraka kwetu                 Bless this our land and nation
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi           Justice be our shield and defender
  Natukae na undugu                   May we dwell in unity
Amani na uhuru                    Peace and liberty
  Raha tupate na ustawi.            Plenty be found within our 
borders.

   2                                         2

Amkeni ndugu zetu                 Let one and all arise
  Tufanye sote bidii                With hearts both strong and true
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu            Service be our earnest endeavour
  Nchi yetu ya Kenya                 And our homeland of Kenya
Tunayoipenda                      Heritage of splendour
  Tuwe tayari kuilinda              Firm may we stand to defend.

   3                                          3
  
Natujenge taifa letu              Let all with one accord
  Ee, ndio wajibu wetu              In common bond united
Kenya istahili heshima            Build this our nation together
  Tuungane mikono                   And the glory of Kenya
Pamoja kazini                     The fruit of our labour
  Kila siku tuwe na shukrani        Fill every heart with

Origins

The tune of the Kenyan National Anthem is an African song which is heard in the Pokomo community of Kenya. It is a traditional tune sang by mothers to their children.

The National Anthem was prepared by a five-member commission, headed by the then Kenya Music Adviser, Mr. Graham Hyslop, with Mr. G. W. Senoga-Zake, Mr. Thomas Kalume, Mr. Peter Kibukosya and Mr. Washington Omondi as members. This method of preparing a national anthem was completely new in Africa. It was the first time a group of local musicians were given the task of preparing an anthem for consideration by the Government.

In presenting the anthem, the commission noted that it had to reflect the idioms of the traditional music of Kenya. As such, many tunes from various parts of the country were considered, and it was by no means easy to find those which would fulfil all the demands made in the context of their use as a National Anthem.

The tune had to be of the right length and quality, yet possessing the necessary dignity. It had to be of such character as to make the writing of suitable words manageable and this was complicated since the Commission set out to provide words in Swahili and English. The tune also had to lend itself to appropriate harmonisation and orchestration for performance by a military band, without impairing the original tonality of the melody.

It was expected that the lyrics would express the deepest convictions and the highest aspirations of the people as a whole. Considering that words can either unite or divide, great care had to be taken to ensure that the Anthem was an indisputable unifying factor in the life of the nation.