For the last 18 years, one voice has been synonymous with national holiday celebrations- Warrant Officer II Gibson Mwandawiro.
His Swahili has reverberated through stadiums and millions of households following national holiday celebrations on TV. Kenyans recognise his voice but not many can put a face to it.
"Mweshimiwa Rais wanaopita mbele yako ni kikosi cha wanamaji..." you might have heard him say during one of the national celebrations as a navy parade marched majestically in front of the head of state.Warrant Officer II Gibson Mwandawiro at a past national holidayFile
He starts his rehearsal a week prior to the official day, going through his lines as if the president was present.
He was groomed by his predecessor Warrant Officer I Mwangi who gave him the chance to introduce smaller parades.
"After my colleague, Mwangi was through with announcing the important parades, I would be allowed to announce the less important ones. That's how I gained my experience.” he intimated.
Mwandawiro developed the passion for making announcements as a child where he would pretend to be a news anchor, a habit he took to high school.
Previously, MCs were not privy to military information meant to be doled out to the public about the parades, different military units and equipment.
When he is not MCeeing, Mwandawiro repairs mechanical and electrical faults in Kenya Airforce planes.
This gives him an upper hand, especially when describing aeroplanes that put on aerial shows and manoeuvres during national celebrations.
“We used to breakdown aircraft manoeuvres but we thought, why not extend that research to the Army and Navy,” he explained.
“I have repaired our fighter jets for more than 15 years before I moved to transport planes at Moi Airbase,” he stated.
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