Sponsored elder in Kenya
Dec 12 2013

Elderly man recalls struggle for Kenya’s independence

80-year-old Joseph celebrates 50 years since Kenya gained its independence.

Eighty-year-old Joseph celebrates 50 years since Kenya gained its independence.

By Regina Mburu, CFCA communications liaison for Africa

As Kenya marks 50 years since independence, the country and Kenyans are in jubilation as we celebrate the 12th of December, Jamhuri Day. It is the day Kenya attained its independence as a republic.

Eighty-year-old Joseph, sponsored in the CFCA aging program, is proud of Kenya and remembers the journey toward independence.

As a young man Joseph spent four years in jail, charged with “being a rebel against the colonial rule and governance.”

“I am glad that Kenya is turning 50 years since independence,” he said. “There is a lot of growth in many things. I am happy that what I went through during the colonial days has paid off.

“I thank God for the opportunities available for my grandchildren and everyone.”

Kenya is a relatively developing country and many people are still living below the poverty level, earning a dollar a day. We are still a proud nation that boasts of beautiful flora and fauna that attracts many.

Joseph has been sponsored in the CFCA aging program for the last two years.

“When I got sponsored, I was very happy,” he said. “My children do not have work, and so they could not support me. Through sponsorship my life has become better.

“I never go hungry because I get nutrition from CFCA. I feel blessed to be part of the program.”

Jamhuri is a Swahili word for republic. The national holiday Jamhuri Day celebrates Kenya’s independence from Britain in 1963 and its establishment as a republic one year later.

The day focuses on unity with dances, feasts, parades and speeches. Kenyans of all ages and backgrounds take part in the colorful celebrations.

Because of the 50th anniversary, the holiday is being celebrated this year on two days, Dec. 12 and 13.

“I am so happy that Kenya is turning 50 years old as a republic,” Joseph said. “It is a huge blessing.”

Joseph is proud of Kenya’s openness and spirit of welcome.

“We as a nation love visitors,” he said. “May God greatly bless the Republic of Kenya.”

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