Kenya National Anthem in Kiswahili and English lyrics

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Here is the Kenya National Anthem in Kiswahili and English lyrics.

Kiswahili version

Ubeti  wa kwanza

Ee Mungu nguvu yetu

Ilete baraka kwetu

Haki iwe ngao na mlinzi

Natukae na undugu

Amani na uhuru

Raha tupate na ustawi

Ubeti wa pili

Amkeni ndugu zetu

Tufanye sote bidii

Nasi tujitoe kwa nguvu

Nchi yetu ya Kenya

Tunayoipenda

Tuwe tayari kuilinda

Ubeti wa tatu

Natujenge taifa letu

Ee, ndio wajibu wetu

Kenya istahili heshima

Tuungane mikono

Pamoja kazini

Kila siku tuwe na shukrani


English version

Stanza  1

Oh God of all creation

Bless this our land and nation

Justice be our shield and defender

May we dwell in unity

Peace and liberty

Plenty be found within our borders.

Stanza 2

Let one and all arise

With hearts both strong and true

Service be our earnest endeavour

And our homeland of Kenya

Heritage of splendour

Firm may we stand to defend

Stanza 3

Let all with one accord

In common bond united

Build this our nation together

And the glory of Kenya

The fruit of our labour

Fill every heart with thanksgiving.


 

This national anthem  was written by the Kenyan Anthem Commission in 1963 to serve as Kenya’s anthem after independence from the British colonialists. The national anthem is played during national holidays and during other important national or historical events. In these occasions, a military band performs the national anthem, asserting the anthem’s role as a symbol of Kenya’s national unity.

The National Anthem was prepared by a five-member commission, headed by the then Kenya Music Adviser, Mr. Graham Hyslop, with Mr. G. W. Senoga-Zake, Mr. Thomas Kalume, Mr. Peter Kibukosya and Mr. Washington Omondi as members.

In presenting the anthem, the commission noted that it had to reflect the idioms of the traditional music of Kenya. As such, many tunes from various parts of the country were considered, and it was by no means easy to find those which would fulfill all the demands made in the context of their use as a National Anthem.

The tune had to be of the right length and quality, yet possessing the necessary dignity. It had to be of such character as to make the writing of suitable words manageable and this was complicated since the Commission set out to provide words in Swahili and English. The tune also had to lend itself to appropriate harmonization and orchestration for performance by a military band, without impairing the original tonality of the melody.

The melody the team selected is based on a traditional folk song of the Pokomo, a small ethnic group in Kenya’s Coast province.

 

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