President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday at State House, Mombasa met and rewarded members of the legendary Mwakigwena Choir Group from Gombatu in Kwale County.
The group which is famous for its patriotic songs started out as a school choir in the late 1970’s under the tutelage of music teacher and composer Enock Ondego and would often be invited to entertain guests during State functions.
The group was particularly loved by Kenya’s founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and many of the country’s freedom heroes for its patriotic music.
The President thanked the group for its immense contribution to the country’s rich heritage through their music and said his administration will continue supporting national heroes whose selfless service has helped shape the nation.
“We are here to honour you as part of those who are the foundation of this country. And we will continue with the same spirit not only to you but also all other heroes and those who have done their part in building that foundation of which ultimately, we will leave to our children to build upon so as to have a home called Kenya,” President Kenyatta told the musicians.
The President said a country that forgets its history is bound to have serious challenges because its citizens tend to take most of its milestones for granted.
“Any country which forgets its history is a weak nation. A nation where people have no point of reference to the past experiences and challenges is a nation whose people have no goodwill to value its heritage,” the President said.
The Head of State said the government will continue to honour its heroes for the roles they played in shaping the nation and that the nation will never forget the sacrifices they made.
“Whatever you did while young, we shall never forget. We are here today to remember all that you did as children and what you did for this country has continued to be cherished, even today some of your songs are still being sang,” the President said.
Wimbo huu ni Wimbo wa Historia and Kenya ni nchi ya ajabu are some of the songs that made the group a national sensation and continues to be a reference point of Kenya’s struggle for independence from British colonialism.
As part of the government’s reward, each of the 14 members of the group has been allocated three acres of land at the Bunguni Settlement Scheme in Kwale County.
For the ailing Mwalimu Ondego, the President said the government will take care of his treatment costs.
Mwanakombo Gwerenya, the chairlady of the group thanked the President for his continued support to the choir saying the team would like to be given an opportunity to perform at any of the country’s national holiday celebrations.
“Your Excellency we thank you for whatever you have done for us. We kindly request that we be given an opportunity to promote our talent by performing in any of the national holidays,” said Ms Gwerenya.
On his part Ondego thanked the President for the transformative development agenda his government is undertaking saying Kenyans will forever be grateful for his visionary leadership.
“I thank you so much for the great things you are doing for our country. Whatever you have done in Kilindini is great, and indeed people will never forget your good deeds,” the veteran choir trainer said.
Present during the meeting were Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, Lands CAS Gideon Mung’aro, Lands PS Dr Nicholas Muraguri among other senior government officials.