Madaraka Day Celebration 2024

Why Kenyans Celebrate Madaraka Day

Every year, since 1964, the Madaraka Day celebrations have been commemorated on the 1st of June in Kenya. This year’s Madaraka Day celebrations are to be held at Masinde Muliro stadium, Kanduyi in Bungoma County. ‘Madaraka’ is a Swahili word that translates to ‘authority’. This annual national holiday seeks to mark and celebrate self-governance from the British. It has been gazetted under Article 8 of the 2010 Constitution.

Madaraka Day holds great significance to all Kenyans marking the first step towards independence. On this day, Kenyans celebrate sovereignty and reflect on the sacrifices made by our nation’s founding fathers who secured our hard-fought independence.

History of Madaraka Day

In 1885, Kenya became a German protectorate before the arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888. The Germans handed over the coastal territory to Britain in 1890. During World War 1, Germany demanded total control of the land. British Indian Army troops, with the help of over 400 thousand Africans were deployed and regained control of the land.

In 1920, Kenya officially became a British colony. That was also when Kenya gained its name. It was in 1963 that the country achieved internal self-rule on 1st June 1963. It declared its independence from the United Kingdom (Britain) through the Kenya Independence Act of 1963.

However, in December of the following year, 1964, Kenya was officially declared a republic. It became the Republic of Kenya. ‘

How Kenyans Celebrate Madaraka Day

  • Attending Military Parades. Members of the public are entertained by the military bands, inspected by the guard of honor by the President, and acrobatic shows of power by the Kenya Airforce.
  • Attending a festival at government-sponsored venues where speeches are also given by national leaders.
  • Setting up the flag of Kenya at home or wearing Kenyan merchandise and swag to show support for the national holiday.

This Year’s Celebrations

Why Kenyans Celebrate Madaraka Day
Masinde Muliro Stadium where this year’s Madaraka Day Celebrations will be held IMAGE: X

On Wednesday, the Principal Secretary (PS), the State Department for Internal Security and National Administration, Dr. Raymond Omolo, and Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, inspected the Masinde Muliro Stadium. They expressed satisfaction with the progress so far. The stadium is marked to host this year’s celebrations. It is reported to be ready to the expected standards. Governor Ken Lusaka thanked the stakeholders who worked diligently day and night to bring the stadium to life.

Why Kenyans Celebrate Madaraka Day
Governor Ken Lusaka with PS Raymond Omolo as they inspected Masinde Muliro Stadium IMAGE: Bungoma County

The State Lodge, where a luncheon will be held, is also 100% complete. It has been handed over to the national government and will host dignitaries who will attend the Madaraka Day celebrations.

The theme this year will focus on agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture has organized an exhibition from the 27th to the 30th of May at Kibabii University grounds.

The stadium is expected to host over 15, 000 people but members of the public are expected to turn up in even larger numbers for the event. It will be held in Bungoma County for the first time.