Jamhuri Day 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Jamhuri Day, the Republic Day is annually celebrated on 12th December in the African country of Kenya. This day marks the date when Kenya became repubic on 12th December, 1964. 

“Jamhuri” is the Swahili word for Republic. December 12 is also the date when Kenya obtained its independence from Great Britain in 1963. The day is celebrated with many events such as feasts, political speeches, and parades, all of which celebrate the country’s cultural heritage. 

Hence it is a very important day for the nation celebrated as a national holiday during which a day off is given and and December 13 is also a day off for most businesses.  

Event Jamhuri Day
Date December 12, 2022
Day Monday
Significance The day marks the date when Kenya became repubic on 12th December, 1964.
Observed by Kenya

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Jamhuri Day History: 

A part of Eastern Africa, the territory of what is known as Kenya has seen human habitation since the beginning of the Lower Paleolithic. The Bantu expansion from a West African centre of dispersal reached the area by the 1st millennium AD. With the borders of the modern state at the crossroads of the Bantu, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic ethno-linguistic areas of Africa, Kenya is a truly multi-ethnic state. The European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but European exploration of the interior began in the 19th century. 

The first colonists from Europe that made their way to Kenya were German. In 1890, the region came under the control of the Imperial British East Africa Company, and Kenya was part of the British East Africa protectorate till it was recognized as a British colony in 1920. It acted as a strategic gain for the British, as Kenya became a military base for the British in the First World War (1914–1918), as efforts to subdue the German colony to the south were frustrated. As usual the colonial administration denied African demands for a greater role in the political process. The wealth of Kenya was plundered by the colonizers without thinking of the local population as they were largely discriminated and persecuted by the colonizers.

It wouldn’t be until 1944 that a Kenyan was included in the colony’s legislature. This did not change much, and disputes regarding land and cultural traditions continued. However, the movement against colonial rule grew, culminating in the Mau Mau uprisings in the late 1950s. During these uprisings, the country was plunged into a state of emergency through most of the decade. The Mau Mau uprisings helped Kenya gain some social and economic concessions. The greatest success of these uprisings was African political participation increasing in the early 1960s. 

The first direct elections took place in 1957, where the Kenya African National Union was led by Jomo Kenyatta, a national hero and leader forming the first government. Kenya gained independence on December 12, 1963. A year later, the country became a republic. Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya’s first president. Jamhuri Day is a day of national, cultural, and historical significance in Kenya. Every proud Kenyan celebrates the holiday and remembers their long struggle with freedom. Celebrations of Jamhuri Day include feasts, political speeches, parades, and dancing. 

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Jamhuri Day Significance: 

Most people often confuse Madaraka Day and Jamhuri Day celebrations, believing that the two are the same. Nevertheless, the two national holidays are different because Madaraka Day commemorates the day in history when the country was allowed internal self-rule by its British colonialists while Jamhuri Day marks the day that Kenya got its full independence. Hence this day commemorates one of the most important historic moment for the country and thus it is celebrated with immense pride and honor by the Kenyans. 

With the Jamhuri Day celebrations around the corner, Kenyans have already began preparations of how they will commemorate the date. Jamhuri Day is considered one of the most important public holidays in Kenya because it is a day when Kenyans reflect on the nation’s cultural heritage and take a look at her journey ever since it became independent from the British colonialists. Hence this day serves as a reminder to all of the Kenyans to not just remembering of the past during the colonial years but also to look for a way for the future for the growth and development of this young nation. 

Jamhuri Day urges us to learn about Kenya. The day reminds us of the cultural, historical, and political significance of the country. It commemorates the struggles and victories are of the Kenyan people. Thus it also serves as a way to tell us about the importance of freedom in our lives which many of us might take for granted nowadays. This is a day which salutes the spirit of Kenya and tribute is offered to all of the people of Kenya including the freedom fighters and national leaders like Jomo Kenyatta for their struggle for independence.  

This is a day which also gives an opportunity to all of the Kenyans to proudly celebrate their identity and culture. It urges then to display their love for the country and their traditions, cultures, cuisines and everything which is Kenyan. It also calls for unity and brotherhood among the Kenyan citizens as Kenya is a very diverse country hence it is essential that everyone moves forward together for the development of their country as a nation is only strong when it’s people are united.  

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Jamhuri Day Celebrations: 

The celebration starts at 11.10 am after the President of the state takes the national salute and inspects the parade. The band continues with a slow march followed by the quick march. The lone drummer moves away from the rest and stands beside the number one guard. He then signals the officer of No 1 guard to stay in position to receive the color. 

The escort of the color them marches off to pick it as the rest of the KDF plays a selected Kenyan tune. After the handover of the color, the escort performs the first verse of the Kenya national anthem and then he marches off in a slow march to the tune of the British grenadier guards. After the trooping of color, Kenyans are treated to numerous forms of entertainment and political speeches from their leaders including the president. 

Furthermore, , being a public holiday, most Kenyans take time off work to spend time with their friends and family, feasting, drinking, and dancing. Jamhuri Day is also viewed as the beginning of the Christmas festivities owing to its position in the calendar and Kenyans take this time to start shopping for the big holiday. 

Jamhuri Day FAQs: 

1. When is Jamhuri Day celebrated? 

Jamhuri Day is annually celebrated on 12th December in Kenya.

2. What does Jamhuri Day commemorates? 

Jamhuri Day marks the date when Kenya became republic on 12th December, 1964. 

3. Where is Kenya located in Africa? 

Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. It lies between Somalia to the northeast and Tanzania to the south. Its other surrounding countries are Ethiopia and South Sudan to the north and Uganda to the west.

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