President Uhuru Kenyatta Sunday challenged Kenyans to be everyday heroes in all they do.
He said that the country is on a journey that requires each and everyone. He emphasized on the need for a positive mind-set for a better tomorrow.
The President spoke when he led Kenyans in celebrating this year’s Mashujaa Day at the iconic Mama Ngina Waterfront in Mombasa.
“Kenya is at a pivotal stage in her progress. The actions and decisions that each Kenyan makes in the present day, will determine whether our Nation will achieve the Kenyan dream as articulated under the Kenya Vision 2030, and presently focuses through the Big Four Agenda,” said President Kenyatta.
During the Mashujaa celebrations, Eliud Kipchoge, the heroic Kenyan athlete who became the first person to ever run the 42 kilometers marathon in less than two hours, was awarded the Elder of the Golden Heart (EGH) medal by the President.
The President said Mashujaa Day is a day to collectively honour all those who participated in the struggle for independence as well as those who positively contributed towards the development of post-independence Kenya.
He reminded Kenyans that civic duty is heroism for everyone. “ Be a hero in all that you do, in every waking moment, in every action and in every word”. The President acknowledged that there is a hero in every Kenyan and that is proven continuously by the achievements of Kenyans on the international stage.
“In each of us lies the seeds of greatness, of heroism. Every Kenyan should plant that seed in the fertile soils of Integrity, water it with hard work and commitment to duty, grow it only in the direction of the light of truth and justice, and reap from the tree only those fruits that have been borne from our rightful efforts,” said the President.
The Head of State said Kenyans should continue celebrating their diversity because it has been a source of strength for the nation.
“As a Nation of Mashujaa and in keeping with the teaching of St. Francis of Assisi: Let each one of us commit to being an instrument of peace, to sow love amidst hatred, to give hope where there is despair, to banish the darkness of our world with the light of our good words and actions,” said the President.
The President affirmed the Government’s commitment to greater fidelity to principles, values and aspirations that informed the struggle for independence; and all the positive development of post-independence Kenya.
“We commit to providing each and every Kenyan with the enabling environment, to be all that they can be; and to bring out the Shujaa in each and every Kenyan,” said President Kenyatta.
The President said Eliud Kipchoge, has similarly proven to the world that no human effort is futile and that we can achieve what has never been achieved before.
“Eliud Kipchoge remains the Greatest of our Time. Our duty is to emulate this enviable level of discipline and determination in our pursuit for a better Kenya for all. His latest conquest will be a constant reminder that we can achieve the very best, as individuals, and as a Nation,” said the President.
The President also congratulated Brigid Kosgei who broke the world Marathon record for women a few days after Kipchoge’s heroic feat.
“Kenya today is the global custodian of both men and women World Record Marathon titles,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State said the Kenyan story continues to be one of greatness, heroism, overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges, through unwavering commitment and an indomitable spirit.
He applauded Kenyans of different professions including athletes, journalists, magistrates, fire-fighters, investigators, actors, musicians, teachers, doctors, nurses and all others who play roles in the country’s well being.
The President reminded Kenyans of the all adage that charity begins at home, saying that every patriot should start his acts of heroism at the family level.
“Most importantly, a Shujaa understands that the family is the basic and fundamental unit of Kenyan society, and their acts of heroism begin at home, by being a role model and effective father, mother, son, daughter or guardian,” said the President.
He said heroism continues to guide Kenya and that is the reason that led to the historic ‘Handshake’ to bridge political divides.
The President applauded the contributions of the coast region into the country’s wellbeing saying that its sons and daughters have played a big role in Kenya’s progress.
He said his Administration has invested huge sums of funds in development projects in the coast region
As part of the celebrations, the Kenya Navy, the Kenya Coast Guard and the Kenya Airforce staged spectacular drills in the Likoni channel which Mama Ngina Drive overlooks.
Deputy President William Ruto said Kenya has undergone huge transformations under President Kenyatta’s Administration.
“For seven years, we have seen tremendous investment in infrastructure, we have build the Standard Gauge Railway, roads and connected million to electricity. You are a hero as well because you have led this great transformation of our country,” said the Deputy President.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali John also spoke at the function.