Every year on October 20, Kenyans celebrate Mashujaa day to celebrate their fallen heroes.
Mashujaa means hero in Swahili. Mashujaa day is marked as a national public holiday. On this day, Kenyans remember all the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and independence of Kenya from British colonialism.
It was previously known as Kenyatta day; to celebrate the detention of six freedom fighters, including the founding father of the East African nation, Jomo Kenyatta.
The liberation war like in other countries saw the death of many Kenyans. Those who fought against colonial rule were jailed, maimed, tortured and even executed.
Kenyatta day was renamed Mashujaa day on August 2010, after the promulgation of the constitution of Kenya.
Thousands of Kenyans have thronged the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos in celebration of today. The event is being attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Majority Leader Aden Duale, Chief Justice David Maraga, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, and his Defence counterpart Raychelle Omamo, among others.
Kenyans from different counties usually travel all the way to the event centre to be a part of the live Mashujaa day celebrations.
The Kenyatta stadium, which has a seater capacity of 20,000 was filled as early as the wee hours of the morning. The gates had to be shut to prevent an overcrowded stadium consequently leading to chaos just outside the stadium.
Peter Wanjohi, the head of presidential functions, had urged:
“Those people outside the gates, do not worry. The gates will be open once the parade is done. For now, let us follow the events on the many large TV screens.”
Before proceeding to the stadium, President Uhuru Kenyatta unveiled the statue of the late Paul Ngei, a renowned anti-colonial fighter and politician.
The president also launched the construction of a 20km dual carriageway from Machakos Junction to Athi River.