Kenyans in Ethiopia marked the 3rd Mashujaa day, with pomp and colour on 20th October 2012. Celebrating this day for the first time in Ethiopia since the inauguration of the Kenyan constitution in August 2010, the Embassy and the Wananchi club collaborated to host two functions.
The first was a daytime event, dedicated to the youngsters of Kenya in the form of a children’s party that was held in the compound of the Embassy at Higher 16 Kebele 01, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In attendance at this colourful event were approximately sixty (60) children that socialized, played games, and were taught the national anthem among other Kenyan songs and took part in various activities. Also present at the event were parents and friends of Kenya.
The Ambassador graced the children’s party. In her statement to the guests, the Ambassador noted that the Mashujaa day provides an opportunity to reflect on Kenyan heroes, both living and the dead, in all fields who had made an impact on our lives and nations. H.E. encouraged the parents present to be hosting such social events as a means to bond as a larger Kenyan family in Ethiopia.
Noting that we had made many positive strides, the Ambassador shared her conviction that Kenya was on the right track especially as it related to the next general elections. In this regard, she pledged the commitment of the mission to ensure that, if it is selected as one of the polling stations, the Embassy would facilitate this important political process and discharge all the necessary tasks in a manner that is in line with the ethos provided for in the our new constitution.
In his remarks, Mr. Patrick Mufwoya, the Chairman of the Wananchi Club said that the day had enabled Kenyans to meet and exchange views, including on developments at home, as well as a chance to interact with the staff of the Embassy. He also urged the Kenyans present to be agents of peace as we move towards the elections scheduled for March 2013.
The second event of the Mashujaa day was an evening cocktail party, held at the Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa. The Guest Speaker was Ms. Praxedes Tororey, Director for Legal and Public Affairs, at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, who briefed Wananchi on the milestones that the IEBC had achieved in its preparations for the general elections, scheduled for 4th March 2013. It was an informative session where Wananchi floated questions as well as interacted with the Commissioner. The gathering was also addressed by Dr. Abbas Gullet Secretary General who was part of a Kenyan delegation of the Red Cross Societies to a global meeting taking place in Addis Ababa at the time period.
In attendance at the this function were more than 150 Kenyans, and members of the diplomatic corps in Addis Ababa, including Ambassador Mull Katende of Uganda and Dean of the Eastern African Group of Ambassadors to the African Union.
As part of commemorating Mashujaa day, and in line with the mission’s public diplomacy, Dr. Monica Juma, the Ambassador was a guest of African Drive Time Show at the AFRO-FM radio station, between 6pm and 7pm on 20th October 2012. The programme aims to interview Africans who have excelled in various spheres of life as well to promote their countries, music and culture during the show.
During the interview with Mitchell Olaniyi the ambassador conveyed Mashujaa greetings to all Kenyans in Ethiopia and Djibouti, as well as the peoples of these two sisterly countries that the mission is accredited to. She also did an extensive interview that enumerated the meaning and substance of Mashujaa day for Kenya, and gave a highlight of some key Kenya government policies that have spurred development in Kenya in the last 10 years, and that could be emulated by other African countries, and gave some examples of Kenyan heroes and heroines, including Wangari Muta Maathai, who contributed not only to Kenya but the world at large, among others.