Anthem & Flag

The Anthem
Swahili English
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu O God of all creation
Ilete baraka kwetu Bless this our land and nation
Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi Justice be our shield and defender
Natukae na undugu May we dwell in unity
Amani na uhuru Peace and liberty
Raha tupate na ustawi. Plenty be found within our borders.
Amkeni ndugu zetu Let one and all arise
Tufanye sote bidii With hearts both strong and true
Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu Service be our earnest endeavour
Nchi yetu ya Kenya And our homeland of Kenya
Ee Mungu nguvu yetu O God of all creation
Tunayoipenda Heritage of splendour
Tuwe tayari kuilinda Firm may we stand to defend.
Natujenge taifa letu Let all with one accord
Ee, ndio wajibu wetu In common bond united
Kenya istahili heshima/td> And the glory of Kenya
Pamoja kazini The fruit of our labour
Kila siku tuwe na shukrani Fill every heart with thanksgiving.

The Flag

Three major and equal width stripes of black, red and green colours running from top to bottom and separated by narrow white stripes, with a symmetrical shield and white spears superimposed centrally.
Black represents the people of Kenya.
Red represents the blood shed in the fight for independence.
Green represents the fertility of the land.
White represents peace. The shield of the warrior represents Kenya's pride and tradition.

Origins Of The Anthem

Members of the Cabinet visiting the home of the Prime Minister, Jomo Kenyatta, in 1963 where they heard three versions of the National Anthem and tried to select a final version.
The tune of the Kenya National Anthem is an African Song which is heard in the Pokomo country 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 possesing the neccessary 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.