Mashujaa Day is celebrated on October 20th. If October 20th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday.
Mashujaa is Swahili for 'Heroes' and as such Mashujaa Day is also known as Heroes' Day.
It is a public holiday to honour all Kenyans who have contributed towards the struggle for Kenya's independence
This holiday used to be known as Kenyatta Day, named after Jomo Kenyatta, who was first Prime Minister and then President of Kenya.
Kenyatta was a prominent campaigner for the independence of Kenya from British rule. He was arrested in October 1952 along with five others (Achieng' Oneko, Bildad Kaggia, Fred Kubai, Kung'u Karumba and Paul Ngei) on charges of being members of the Mau Mau Society, a movement engaged in rebellion against Kenya's British rulers. The accused were known as the 'Kapenguria Six'.
But other than independence heroes, Mashujaa Day is also a day to remember and celebrate Kenyan heroes from all walks of life. Some of these include:
Wangari Muta Maathai, the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate was the founder of the Green Belt Movement. Globally acclaimed for her persistent struggle for environmental conservation, democracy, and human rights, Wangari was the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
A hero to many, Wangari's deep passion to fight against environmental degradation is immortalized in Karura Forest, Nairobi's largest green park. Today, many Kenyans flock
to this urban forest to run, walk, jog, bike, picnic..... basically escape the concrete jungle.
In 2019, the undisputed greatest marathon runner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge proved no human is limited when he broke the 2-hr marathon barrier. Eliud became the first human in history to manage this previously inconceivable feat. Clocking 1.59 in the INEOS Challenge held in Vienna, Austria, Eliud stunned the world..... and inspired millions across the globe.
A multiple Olympic marathon winner and the current world marathon record holder, Eliud has won multiple world marathons and bagged multiple gold medals to boot.
Eliud Kipchoge's consistency, level of motivation, mental fortitude, and physical discipline is beyond compare. To date, this international champion and hero remains the GOAT; the greatest of all time!