We have every reason to hold on to our sense of nationhood

At the dawn of our independence, we were told that in order to protect our hard won freedom, we have to work hard. Indeed the clarion call was “Uhuru na Kazi!” – freedom and work .

This went along with others like “Turudi Mashambani” – let us get back to the land and “Hakuna cha bure” – there is nothing for free.

Our founding president repeated these statements to a point that it became boring for a growing young fellow like myself.

Now that I am slightly older and able to understand things better, I have come to realise that his intention was to inculcate in all Kenyans the need to work hard, to till our land and not to seek to depend on anyone.

In resent times we have heard another slogan that has been popularised by the Revenue Authority.

It goes something like “Kutoa Ushuru ni kulinda Uhuru” – paying taxes is protecting our freedom. All these go to say that the work we do is all about protecting our independence.


Anyone – and especially those in political leadership – who genuinely believes in the freedom of all Kenyans must inspire and encourage all Kenyans to work hard wherever one is.

Discouraging work is not leadership. It may be ‘good’ politics but certainly not leadership.

Incidentally, I find it a bit of a contradiction if a politician tells anyone not to go to work because while he or she is saying that he or she is at work.

Talking and politicising issues is the work they do.

Our elections are finally over even though there is the matter of the Supreme Court and the petition that is due.

This petition is in my view a step in the right direction because it is a recognition of an important constitutionally-established structure which we all participated in legitimising.


As we wait for the verdict of this highest court in the land, there is one thing that must be clear to all of us: That whichever way it goes we all have a country to move forward for ourselves and for future generations. This calls for hard work by all of us.

Whether we are politicians, professionals of whichever kind, artisans, NGO people and so on, we cannot afford to seem like we have deserted our sense of nationhood or to be disorganised.

We might expose ourselves too much. Look at what is happening around the world. Terror groups are attacking cities every other week.

Economic blocks keep taking advantage of less organised nations of the world. We sometimes may fight internally over petty differences which are sometimes guided by the selfish motives of some and forget that we have a bigger job to do. 

 Writer is Dean of Students at the University of Nairobi; [email protected]

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