On 28th of February, I will stop what I am doing at 1pm, and together with many other Kenyans, sing the national anthem. For one minute and fourtyeight seconds, I will sing and remind myself of my responsibility to this great Nation to which I owe my heritage.
Last year, when we proposed to sing the national anthem, many skeptics were won over when they sang because of the thing that happened to them internally: that brighteninhg of the patriotic glow that happened within them.
“Natujenge Taifa letu, eeh Ndio Eajibu wetu.” (“Let all in one accord, in common bond united, build this our nation together”)
A good man starts out with responsibility to his country, to his society, to his family, to himself. Why? Because a good man (and woman) is fair, just and committed to the good of all around him – not just himself, his kin or his tribe.
This is a lesson that was not taught in the eighties and nineties when I was growing up. There were few good examples of this. All we saw those days, was grown ups seeking shortcuts to make things work for us in the face of a system that didn’t work.
“Let one and all arise, with hearts both strong and true, service be our earnest endeavour”
Today, the national anthem reminds me to be a good man, who takes responsibility for the good of all, for God and Country. And then, there is a promise that I aspire to every day:
“Kenya istahili heshima”
As I take responsibility for building a better Kenya, then my country will be respected everywhere I go. And I will gain respect among all who know me.
Because the reward for responsibility is two-fold: respect and prosperity.
“And the glory of Kenya, the fruit of our labour, fill every heart with thanksgiving.”