Every year October 20th Kenya celebrates there heroes, this year this day will be a very big holiday in Kenya, and celebrations will be organized in Kericho County led by President William Ruto.
The festival goes by the name Mashujaa Dei. But what is the responsibility of this day?
The day is celebrated on October 20 every year to remember the great heroes of the country. However, although it is set aside to honor and remember the heroes of this country who fought for its freedom from colonial rule, the day represents much more than meets the eye.
It is celebrated as a way to collectively honor the people who contributed greatly in the struggle for Kenya’s independence. In addition, they also made positive contributions to the country after independence.
Previously, the holiday was known as Kenyatta Day. This is because it was named after Jomo Kenyatta – who was the leader of the Mau Mau movement and a Kenyan anti-colonial activist and politician.
After independence, Jomo Kenyatta served as the first Prime Minister of Kenya from 1963 to 1964. Later, he became the first president of Kenya from 1964 to 1978, when he passed away.
During the struggle for Kenya’s independence from British colonial rule, Jomo Kenyatta emerged as one of the most prominent campaigners. In October 1952, he was arrested along with five other Kenyan freedom fighters.
The six were arrested for allegedly being members of Mau Mau. The Mau Mau Rebellion was a movement that rebelled against the British rulers of Kenya. The group of six defendants was known as the Kapenguria Six. Apart from Jomo Kenyatta, the other five were:
- Achieng Oneko Ramogi
Achieng Oneko was a Kenyan politician and freedom fighter who was considered a national hero. According to books and historical articles, Oneko was born in 1920 in the village of Tieng’a in the small area of Uyoma in Bondo District and died in 2007 at the age of 87.
- Bildad Kaggia
Kaggia was a Kenyan politician, activist and patriot. He was one of the members of the Mau Mau Central Committee. After the colonial rule, Bildadi became a Member of Parliament. He was recognized as a soldier and a fierce patriot. Bildadi’s main agenda was to serve the poor and landless people in Kenya. Because of this, he had an irreconcilable conflict with President Jomo Kenyatta. He died on March 7, 2005 at the age of 84.
- Fred Kubai
Fred Kubai was one of six Kapenguria members of the African Union of Kenya who were arrested, tried, and imprisoned in 1952. He organized attacks against the European government in Nairobi. He was the leader of the Kenya Transport Union and the East African Trade Union Confederation. Kubai died on June 1, 1996 at the age of 79 according to history.
- Kung’u Karumba
Kung’u Karumba was a patriot and freedom fighter for Kenya. After Kenya gained independence, Kung’u remained good friends with Jomo Kenyatta. He also became an influential mentor to him. He was also a smart businessman with a big investment in Uganda. He died in 1978 at the age of 76.
- Paul Ngei
Ngei was a Kenyan politician and one of the Kapenguria Six. After Kenya gained independence, he held several ministerial positions in the government. Paul Ngei died on 15 August 2004 at the age of 80.
The detention of the Kapenguria Six is considered a famous event hence its commemoration and public holiday on October 20 every year.
The public holiday was first observed in 1958, mainly by activists but gained more success the following year. B
After independence in 1963, the holiday was enshrined in the Kenyan constitution as Kenyatta Day. However, in August 2010, after the adoption of the new constitution, several changes were made to public holidays. Therefore, Kenyatta Day was renamed. The day has since expanded its scope to include many Heroes Day heroes.