How Uhuru Aped His Father's Iconic Event on Mashujaa Day [VIDEO]

  • A young President Uhuru Kenyatta with his father Jomo and other dignitaries in an undated photo. There were many similarities recorded during the Mashujaa day fete at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park and Jomo Kenyatta's event in 1964 at the same venue. File
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, on October 20, 2019, stood at the steps of the refurbished Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa for the 10th Mashujaa Day fete.

    Few will remember this, but over five decades back, Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had stood at the same steps to address a nation eager to watch him unveil Kenya Navy's official colours.

    In a video posted online by Kenya Tourism Federation Chairman Mohammed Hersi, Kenyatta was seen waving to the elated crowd as he made his way to the venue.

    Kenya Navy Officers with their official military colours on October 20, 2019. The colors were issued to them on the very same venue in December, 1964.
    Kenya Navy officers in their official uniform at the Mashujaa Day fete on October 20, 2019. Their formal uniform was unveiled at the very same venue in December 1964.

    Just as Uhuru's convoy snaked into the venue on October 20, 2019, Kenyatta's convoy, complete with outriders, had made its way into the waterfront, then identified as the Mama Ngina Drive, on December 12, 1964 during the country's first Jamhuri Day celebrations.

    The very same spot occupied by the cheering audience during the Mashujaa Day festival was also full of people brimming with excitement at Jomo Kenyatta's arrival over 55 years ago.

    While many changes have been witnessed in the country over the years, many events at the Mashujaa Day celebration were reminiscent of when Kenya celebrated its first anniversary since becoming a republic.

    Mama Ngina Waterfront Park recently benefitted from Ksh450 million facelift ahead of the Mashujaa Day fete, a move aimed at cementing Mombasa's position as a major tourist destination in the region.

    The modernization of the park, however, did not dim the similarities between the actions of the two presidents ruling two distinct generations.

    Despite reports that Uhuru Kenyatta was the first president to witness the 21-gun salute from the Kenya Navy, the 1964 video showed Jomo Kenyatta also receiving a 21-gun salute from the Kenya Navy.

    With technological shifts, historical changes and better bilateral relationships having been cultivated over time, a lot of changes in the war front have been recorded. 

    While General Samson Mwathethe was picked from Kenya Navy to head Kenya's Defence Forces, during Kenyatta's grand visit to the coast, he had a Briton, Brigadier A.J. Hardy as the head of the army.

    President Kenyatta meeting athletic legend Eliud Kipchoge and other dignitaries at the Mashujaa Day fete at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa on October 20, 2019.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta greets athletics legend Eliud Kipchoge and other dignitaries during the Mashujaa Day fete at Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in Mombasa on October 20, 2019.