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Let’s celebrate, we have all been heroes this year

By Sandra Ochola
Friday, October 16th, 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In summary

The 2020 Mashujaa Day celebrations come at a challenging time for both government and citizens. 2020 has been a surprising year by many standards.

It started on a joyful note, marking new beginnings for many who had hoped to implement dreams and ambitions they nurtured the previous years.

But lock downs, curfews and social anxiety quickly replaced these ideals once Covid-19 crossed our borders. 

Against this background, Mashujaa celebrations offer an opportunity to recognise and celebrate myriad of heroes who have cushioned us thus far, with their goodwill and diligence.

At the top of the list is the Kenyan citizen. Agreeably, we wouldn’t have come this far without our collective vision for the country.

That we worked together with the government by adhering to public health regulations and keeping each other safe to the best of our abilities is testament of our magnanimity by and for one another. 

The government, through varied ministries and departments, deserves equal praise for its steadfastness in curbing the virus spread.

This period has championed the importance of foresight and strategic leadership in the management of social and economic affairs.

It is such foresight that has gained Kenya global recognition by its peers and made it a point of reference and study by its regional counterparts. 

There are also men and women who took great risks in providing essential services to populations over the past months.

For many weeks, they moved across the country transporting, feeding, policing and nurturing.

Those in the transport sector ensured farm produce reached our kitchens when we needed it.

Those in the taxi and matatu industry ensured we made it to work on time to serve the nation. 

Our security forces, in spite of initial challenges, continued to maintain law and order at a time of loss and despair.

Those in the medical field treated us and comforted us round the clock, even as they put their friends and families at risk from the constant exposure to the virus. 

The private sector did not relent in its nation building initiatives.

We have witnessed innovations from far and wide that will continue to improve our service delivery particularly in the health sector.

Young men and women came together to assist the government in development of beds, ventilators, facemasks and sanitisers.

Through their corporate social responsibility initiatives, private companies distributed food to those needy families and communities whose daily earning capacities had been diminished by the virus.

In many instances, the costs of good and services were subsidised in response to the economic emergencies that the country was witnessing. 

From the start, the media has played an exceptional role in promoting access to information on our undertakings around Covid-19.

Press conferences, newspaper pullouts and social media updates made life easier for a majority of Kenyans that demanded assurance of timely and reliable information.

By both chance and design, we have saved lives and promoted the health of millions of Kenyans through these varied initiatives.

We have created a fertile ground for our manufacturing sector and boosted the confidence of our young innovators for the future.

We have also strengthened our local and global partnerships, which will sail us through the next years after the pandemic.

Of immediate tangibility is that our health care system has been boosted three fold with better-equipped facilities and increased health care personnel.  

It is with this same zeal that we must now invigorate our economy and bridge the social and economic gaps that will be left behind by the virus.

It is also with this foresight that we should safeguard the successes we have registered during this period for it is often easy to lose sight of where we have come. 

Indeed, the virus has defined our way of life for months, but we should not allow it to change our fabric as a nation or to trivialise our dreams and hopes for the future.

Consequently, as we mark the 2020 Mashujaa Day let us remember that we have all been heroes this year. — The writer is an Advocate of the High Court 

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