LET US HAVE A MEANINGFUL HEROES (MASHUJAA) DAY
When I was invited to attend the Kenya Community Abroad ( KCA ) AGM in Boston, USA in 2001, I had one very important thing in my mind to bring to the attention of those Kenyans who gathered there, ” The Heroes ( Mashujaa ) Day.
Although my grandfather, the late Ben Kinyahwe, had on several occasions narrated to me about the Mau Mau struggles, I heard very little about the struggles from other people. Therefore, as I grew up, I realized that the history of the Mau Mau struggles was gradually fading.
Undoubtedly, I considered the KCA meeting in Boston, an important forum to address the plight of the Kenyan Heroes who sacrificed to save the lives of others.
So, when the time came for me to address the gathering at the meeting, I went straight to the point and called for a Heroes ( Mashujaa ) Day for the Kenyan Heroes, as the crowd roared in applause. For many years latter, I continued to demand for the establishment of a Heroes Day in Kenya, until a few years ago, when the day was realized. Little did I know that after the establishment of the Heroes day, the holiday would not serve the purpose for which it was formed.
As one of the first Kenyans to call for a Heroes Day in Kenya, my reasons for its establishment, was to remember and to honor those Kenyans, dead or alive, who sacrificed to help others. Sad to say, since the Heroes ( Mashujaa ) Day was established in Kenya a few years ago, Kenyan Heroes have never been remembered or Honored except for the late Hero, Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi Waciuri, whose Statue was erected in his honor, shortly after the late President Nelson Mandela protested about the neglect of the Kimathi family, in his address to Kenyans at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi during his visit to Kenya, after his release from prison.
Nelson Mandela was inspired by the gallant struggle put up by the Mau Mau in Kenya to defeat colonial rule
I kindly plead with the Kenya Government to to make sure that the Heroes ( Mashujaa ) Day, serves the purpose for which it was formed. Nevertheless, if the current Mashujaa day was established for other reasons, other than to remember and to honor the Kenyan Heroes, then let us have another day set up for the purpose of remembering and honoring the Kenyan Heroes, dead and alive, and their families.
Isaac Newton Kinity.