The Kenyan National Anthem was crafted by a commission of five people who included music composers and musicians .
The five-man team included: Professor Washington Omondi, Reverend Thomas Kalume who was an education officer, Graham Hyslop who was the Inspector of Music in the Ministry of Education, Mr Peter Kibkosya who was a music tutor and George Senoga Zake, a Ugandan musicologist.
Led by Prof. Omondi, the commision was given seven weeks to compose the national anthem and they considered a number of things including holding a competition where several people would be asked to present National anthems.
According to former Attorney General Charles Njonjo, one Kenyan found a tune and played it and everyone was pleased with it. It was then presented to the bandmaster of the Kenya Police who ocherstrated it.
The commission then presented its work to the advisory committee. Many traditional tunes were considered but they shortlisted 3 tunes from which a Pokomo lullaby was selected. The Pokomo lullaby went as follows;
Bee mdondo, bee, Bee mdondo bee
Akudobee ni gani?
Huenda hukawabige watu wa makoneah
Mwenzi uyawa, ni nani?
The team then came up with the theme words in both Kiswahili and English and also agreed that the opening stanza be prayerful. And with that, they composed the first version of the national anthem.
The three verses were then presented to the first President of Kenya Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the Council of Ministers in August 1963. The anthem was sung in unison in Kiswahili and English by a double quartet with the Police Band playing.
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