Uhuru awards legendary choir for contribution to nation’s heritage
President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday rewarded members of the Mwakigwena Choir Group from Gombatu in Kwale county.
The group, which is famous for its patriotic songs, started out as a school choir in the late 1970s under the tutelage of music teacher and composer Enock Ondego and would often be invited to entertain guests during State functions. The team was particularly loved by Kenya's founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and many of the country's freedom heroes for its patriotic music.
During the event at State House, Mombasa, Uhuru thanked the group for its immense contribution to the country's rich heritage through their music and said his administration will continue supporting national heroes, whose selfless service has helped shape the nation.
“We are here to honour you as part of those who are the foundation of this country. We will continue with the same spirit not only to you but also to all other heroes and those who have done their part in building the foundation we will leave to our children to build upon so as to have a home called Kenya,” he said.
The President said a country that forgets its history is bound to have serious challenges because its citizens tend to take most of its milestones for granted.
“Any country that forgets its history is a weak nation. A nation where people have no point of reference to the past experiences and challenges is a nation whose people have no goodwill to value its heritage,” he said.
“Wimbo Huu ni Wimbo wa Historia” and “Kenya Ni Nchi ya Ajabu” are some of the songs that made the group a national sensation and continue to be a reference point of Kenya's struggle for independence from British colonialism.
As part of the government's reward, each of the 14 members of the group has been allocated three acres of land at the Bunguni Settlement Scheme in Kwale.
For the ailing Ondego, the President said the government will take care of his treatment costs.
Mwanakombo Gwerenya, the chairlady of the group, thanked the President for his continued support for the choir, and requested that the team be given an opportunity to perform at any of the country’s National celebrations.
Ondego thanked Uhuru for the transformative development agenda his government is undertaking, saying Kenyans will forever be grateful for his visionary leadership.
Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja, Lands CAS Gideon Mung'aro, and PS Nicholas Muraguri were among senior government officials at the ceremony.