Kenya marks 57 years of self-governance today devoid of the usual fanfare owing to restrictions enforced to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will lead the unprecedented virtual celebrations from State House, Nairobi, from where he will address the nation.
But as the government fights to stay firmly on the course of economic recovery, driven by President Kenyatta’s eight-point economic stimulus programme, the plight of sportspeople must not be forgotten. These include, especially, the veterans who, immediately after independence, catapulted Kenya to the enviable level of being one of the world-leading sporting nations.
It’s reassuring to see global federations express their confidence in Kenya’s organisational acumen with World Athletics, for instance, having set September 26 as the date for the rescheduled Nairobi leg of the Continental Tour.
Also, there is a possibility of the Kenya Open Golf Championship, initially scheduled for March, to be played this year while the Safari Rally’s confirmed return to the World Rally Championship was pushed to next year.
The government’s efforts to cushion vulnerable sports people through the Sports ministry is laudable and should be extended to our legends, many of whom are still languishing in abject poverty.
It was reassuring to see Athletics Kenya rename the Nairobi Continental Tour to the Kip Keino Classic in honour of Kenya’s celebrated Olympic champion, track legend Kipchoge Keino.
Madaraka Day offers another opportunity for the government to further appreciate the contribution of our trailblazers, even as the young and elite sports people are cushioned against the adverse effects of the coronavirus to fly the national flag high.
Happy Madaraka Day!