Kenya celebrated its 14th anniversary of self-government on Wednesday (1 June) with a parade of military forces and traditional dancers in Nairobi, the capital.
Kenya celebrated its 14th anniversary of self-government on Wednesday (1 June) with a parade of military forces and traditional dancers in Nairobi, the capital. Madaraka Day, as it's called, is celebrated throughout the country and in Kenyan diplomatic missions abroad.
SYNOPSIS: Thousands turned out for the parade and President Jomo Kenyatta received a rousing welcome on his arrival. Traditionally, Madaraka Day is a day of rejoicing, when everyone reflects upon the country's achievements and progress since independence.
One of the main events of the day was the annual military parade. President Kenyatta and his wife Mama Ngina, watched as various contingents of the armed forces marched past.
Combat troops displayed the country's most sophisticated fighting equipment. As well as military participants, the celebrations included people from all walks of life. There were representatives from police and prison staffs, and the Nairobi City Council and civilian organisations.
Another annual part of the celebrations is the drive-past of mechanized units of the Kenyan Armed Forces. Music, too, was very much a part of the occasion.
Local dancers from the Luo and Embu tribes put on spectacular displays with their colourful headdresses and costumes. President Kenyatta received numerous message of congratulations from Kenyan representatives around the world. Kenyans regard Madaraka Day as one of the most commemorative holidays of the year.
Kenya was granted full sovereignty in December, 1963, when Mr Kenyatta's administration assumed responsibility for kenya's defence and foreign affairs. In 1974, President Kenyatta was re-elected unopposed for a third five-year term. During his address on Wednesday, the Kenyan Head of State praised the country's economic and social progress since statehood was achieved. He remarked however, on the rising difficulties between members of the East African community, calling on them to resolve their differences.
In February this year, Kenya set up its own railway system-cutting loose from the East African Railways Corporation. East African Airways collapsed due to financial problem, and Kenya formed its own airline. Tanzania became involved, and after verbal exchanges closed the border with Kenya.