This is a national holiday celebrated every 1 June of every year in the Republic of Kenya. It commemorates the day in 1963 that Kenya attained internal self-rule in 1963 after being a British colony since 1920. Madaraka is the Swahili word for ‘power’

History of Madaraka Day

  • The first colonists from Europe to have a presence in Kenya were German.

In 1890, the region came under the control of the Imperial British East Africa Company, and Kenya was part of the British East Africa protectorate from 1895 until it became a British crown colony in 1920.

  • Disputes over land were common, leading to the Mau Mau rebellion by the Kikuyu people in 1952, which effectively put Kenya into a state of emergency for the next seven years.

The first direct elections took place in 1957, with the Kenya African National Union led by Jomo Kenyatta, an ethnic Kikuyu, forming the first government.

  • On June 1st 1963, Kenya became a self-governing country when Jomo Kenyatta became the first prime minister.

Full independence from British rule followed on December 12th 1963 when Kenya became an independent nation.

How is Madaraka Day Celebrated?

  • To celebrate Madaraka Day, Kenyans will gather together in their thousands at the venue that has been selected for each year’s official event.
  • The event features military parades and singing and dancing.
  • The most important part of the event is the Madaraka day speech, given by the President. The speech often addresses the struggle for freedom in the country and touches on other issues that are affecting the country. The national anthem is then sung to bring the celebrations to an end.

Madaraka day celebrations are very important in Kenya as they allow Kenyans to reflect on their past, honor the heroes who played an important role in the struggle for independence and work for a better future.

Current track