Kenya our sovereign state forty years plus now. We pride ourselves as a self-governed nation, independent and marching forward towards development. We have a good number of calendar days in the year dedicated to commemorate and celebrate our achievements. I think these days should also be times for history audit and strategy gathering to be better.
This brings me to the essence of the just concluded Mashujaa/Madaraka Day. Did we really celebrate the nation founders in the dark pre-independence days? Did we visit them; appreciate them with flowers, cards or gifts? It is my belief that it is no longer cool to showcase our army machinery, artillery and potential.
Celebrations should be a series of small unique and world class events that add up to the greater picture. A contingent of government officials (and it never argued we have one of the largest in the world) should have been designated leadership in these series of events for this auspicious occasion. Some should have gone round to the living Mashujaas to applaud them. Others should have gone to villages to disseminate information on what the government is or has undertaken while gathering the views and suggestion from the people. Others should have gone to the Mashujaa grave sides and applaud them post-humously (seven gun salutes and dressing them with titles of recognition). Then I think the day celebrations hinder lots of people and cannot be as colourful as ones done from evening into the night.
The climax of the day would then be at Nyayo Stadium or any other public facility. Where we can dance to our tunes without hindrance unlike the two minutes listenership we are normally given on every occasion. The night would then be full of pomp, dance less of any inhibitions. After the Key leaders speech we would then CELEBRATE!! With fireworks, artistic pieces and the diverse that is our culture. There is a lot to do in how we manage our events. Teleprompters should be incorporated into the Keynote speeches of our leaders, the Master of Ceremony should be someone the crowd appreciates to create the necessary hype. In the evening lights would not only make the event more colourful but the quality of live recording would be enhanced. Our Television Stations really struggle to take good shoots but many are marred by shadows and bad contrasts of picture during the day. A stage would then be constructed to facilitate all performances. A small video of the great journey that Kenya has made can be aired.
Remember the eve of the first Madaraka day the festive mood of Kenya burst from evening and was quite impressive. From world class events like last years World Cup opening in South Africa or the Obama’s Inauguration there are many things we can borrow. Given the budget allocations and currents celebration expenses we should do better events with such colossal amounts. It is a pity that we continue to do it as it has been done since President Kenyatta & President Moi’s tenure. These celebrations need a major facelift.