Kenya National Anthem – National Anthem of Kenya
The Kenya National Anthem was originally composed in Kiswahili, the national language. It was prepared by local people and based on a traditional tune sung by Pokomo mothers to their children. The national anthem of Kenya was written by the Kenyan Anthem Commission in 1963 to serve as the anthem after independence from the United Kingdom. It was expected that the lyrics would express the deepest convictions and the highest aspirations of the people as a whole.
In Kenya, the national anthem is played during national holidays and during other important or historical events. In these occasions, a military band performs the national anthem, asserting the anthem’s role as a symbol of Kenya’s national unity.
Kenya National Anthem Lyrics – English
Kenya National Anthem Verse 1.
O God of all creation
Bless this our land and nation
Justice be our shield and defender
May we dwell in unity Peace and liberty
Plenty be found within our borders
Kenya National Anthem Verse 2.
Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true
Service be our earnest endeavor
And our homeland of Kenya Heritage of splendor
Firm may we stand to defender.
Kenya National Anthem Verse 3.
Let all with one accord
In common bond united
Build this our nation together
And the glory of Kenya
The fruit of our labor
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.
Kenya National Anthem Lyrics – Kiswahili
National Anthem of Kenya in Kiswahili
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu
Kenya National Anthem
Ilete baraka kwetu
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi
Natukae na undugu
Amani na uhuru
Raha tupate na ustawi
Amkeni ndugu zetu
Tufanye sote bidii
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu
Nchi yetu ya Kenya
Tuwe tayari kuilinda
Natujenge taifa letu
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu
Kenya istahili heshima
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani
Origins of the Kenya National Anthem
Prior to attaining independence, the government of Kenya commissioned a five-member team to come up with a new national anthem. This team was to incorporate traditional Kenyan music in the anthem, while ensuring that a military band could perform the tune without distorting the original tone of the melody.
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
National Anthem of Kenya Melody
The melody the team selected is based on a traditional folk song of the Pokomo, a small ethnic group in Kenya’s Coast province.
KENYAN FLAG & CREST
- Kenyan flag The shield and crossed spears represent the defence of freedom.
- The black bar symbolizes the people of Kenya.
- The red bar symbolizes the blood shed in the struggle for independence.
- The green bar symbolizes Kenya’s natural resources.
- The two narrow white bars symbolize peace and unity.