That none of the mashujaa day nominees refused honors in a list that omitted Jaramogi is a shame.


Sometimes it takes the selfless acts of defiance by courageous citizens to tilt the course of a nations history against the wishes and trends established by the mainstream political class.  Example, Prof. Yash Pal Ghai. The good Prof is a Kenyan hero. When he was nominated to the Constitutional Review Commission to spearhead constitutional review, he refused to be sworn-in until there was a compromise on the issue of the then parallel Ufungamano Initiative, which the KANU establishment wanted to hear nothing about. This act alone defined a new direction for the constitutional review process that even his own benefactors could not have contemplated.


In a situation where the political class cannot agree, the actions of patriotic Kenyans that go beyond the usually childish and self-serving interests of politicians can change the course of history.

My point:

That is why I was disappointed when none of the nominees to the controversial Jubilee Mashujaa Day list declined their nomination on the basis of the very absurd and unfortunate fact that it omitted one of the undisputed independence heroes in Kenya, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. For me, it is not a question of whether Jaramogi should be on the list or not – only the fairly clueless and vain Jubilee leadership can make that a question or a debate.  What matters to me is how any Kenyan who has half knowledge of our history can accept to be in a heroes list that does not include Jaramogi!

If politicians know that Kenyans of integrity will reject their decisions, even those that are beneficial to them personally, if such decisions  fall short of the patriotic standard , then politicians would make better decisions. It is pointless to criticize Jubilee on this decision very distasteful decision. We have come to expect them to make some of the most thoughtless decisions especially if they find an opportunity to piss-off their equally thoughtless CORD competitors who are outside “wakimeza mate”. When a political class becomes this degenerate, it falls on the citizens to stand on principle and tell their politicians “No”. Just like Prof. Yash Pal Ghai did.

We cannot work with politicians to trample over the achievements of our early heroes like Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in a hurry to become heroes ourselves. And as far as Kenyans are concerned, to do so is to dishonor their memory. That is why for me, the fact that none of the mashujaa day nominees refused honors in a list that omitted Jaramogi Oginga Odinga is a shame. A big shame.

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  1. politicization of a country’s history is the most degenerate form of leadership and a higher civilization. But history is forever embedded in people’s hearts. Those who bear the burden of history shall forever have a niche in the temple of fame whether we like it or not.

  2. Were there nominations? To who? For what awards? When is the commendations ceremony? Be there to stop it till history is reviewed. General Baimungi must be nominated too. Kwao ni hapo tu kwetu.

  3. Were those people in custody who brought uhuru or those who were outside, I thought when you are arrested, then confined, you are no longer in charge of what is happening in the outside world, mwizi akifungiwa anaeza endeleza wizi kweli? We all know the famous Jaramogi word, no peace, no uhuru without Kenyatta and other detainees, history can not be deleted

  4. si lazima atajwe..its a big shame if ata wewe umeingia iyo class ya kuforce president ataje mtu ati ni hero…its not a must even orengo was mentioned and uhuru was not forced…let it be anybodys wish to acknowledge his or her hero..not to be begged or forced!

  5. Hi proff?welcome to a nation where thugs are elected to big offices where an accident scene is turned to a lootng spot where the “educated” are most tribal where the only way to make yourself heard is by blocking the highway where the voting is on tribal than merit where children are fluent in different foreighn languages yet cannot speak mother tongue,ooops the nation on an auto pirot,welcome back to nation Kenya the home of champions and corrupt.

  6. Excuse my being blunt but i find this all Mashujaa heroes list debacle absurd, kenyans are an interesting bunch, i mean, its only in Kenya where some omissions and inclusions raises some eyebrows.Declining this acknowledgement is so unkenyan am surprised you expected some.Jaramogi is an icon echoed through history but that to these bunch of reactionary self seekers is of no importance because they consider themselves hall of famers by their standards plus they probably foresaw the aftermath of dat controversial snub.these guys are playing us for their own entertainment and i refuse to be a lab rat and choose to hail the good prof Yash as a shujaa prof.

  7. Food for thought prof.I have to agree with u partly on this one.But then again I being frm mitaa ya mabanda, if I were nominated to b feted as a hero;I would find it hard to go against the grain of african mindset captured in the book by Chinua Achebe(a man of the people)whereby villagers of Anata question the sanity of a man who would spit a juicy morsel,good fortune placed in his mouth.Unless am born with a silver spoon in my mouth as they say.I bet Prof Yash pal didn’t come frm a humble background?.

  8. Somebody like Jomo Kenyatta was not a hero but a first grade traitor who betrayed Maumau freedom fighter’s by denying them meaning full ways of like provision of land instead embraced sons/daughters of collaborators who hijacked the whole process of freedom and installed themselves as new colonizers replacing the whites too sad as the way Jaramogi put it not yet Uhuru.

  9. now that we had heroes and heroine in the past…the likes of oginga,wangari,ouko,jm and many others who died in pursuit of our freedom and fairness in our society..i wonder can our politician in these new age qualify to be called heroes… professional thiefs,white collar crimes on the rise,women leaders are complainers….the government itself is a fully loaded bus but the driver after starting it has realized the steering wheel is missing… and he insist we must take the ride…. i dont think our current leaders should be left a space in the archives…just wondering..

  10. I agree with this proffesor,history of Kenya can’t be rewritten but it will still remain in the heart of Kenyans,in Raila’s response to mashujaa day he quoted “I wonder how someone fears history of this country until he fails to honour respective heroes but I find that arkward, its not a political competition to honour heroes”.During madaraka day I liked how Raila sang about Kenyatta and others as heroes..Proffesor as far as you always term CORD and Jubilee they are tribal we should first question those in power..Uhuruto have failed..he chose to walk in between tribal lines…government appointments gives us the clear picture who they are

  11. Odinga’s name in such a list is so visible in that if u pretend that u didn’t see it …. Intact on a day to remember them…. U just not patriotic… Its like ommiting the name mau mau.

    • Yes,but when used in a sentence they are different words example ,HE Jaramogi is recognized world wide as a hero ,but HE Uhuru in his personal opinion does not acknowledge this ,but it doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate HE Jaramogi for the effort he put in for the independence of Kenya and releasing of the kapenguria six from detention

  12. I listened to the president’s speech and I think whoever was in charge failed and i expected him to elaborate more when addressing the nation.Its sad not to mention Jeramogi Tom Mboya Mekatilili Wa Menza and the likes of Koitalel during such a function.

  13. These later day saints of Kenyan politics knows no history of this nation, all minds on where to loot and abuse powers bestowed upon them as they look down on their critics, but they’ll never change the past woe unto them.

  14. Prof. What you forget is that the current leaders both in opposition and the government were mere kids when the likes of Jaramogi were struggling for freedom. Other were yet to be borne.

  15. Am tired so tired of reading a”1D”one dimension leaner, its time we forget the so called independent heros we have new challanges that should define who is a hero.what you don’t know is,for Kenya to take another step we must redefine our history.To me no political actor in history qualifies to be a hero in this generation. What we want to hear is not what jaramogi did but the impact or transformation that his deeds brought. Who is a hero in Kenya, when justice is still a dream.My hero is one who will intiate the fight for corruption and liberate Kenya from this 21st century challenge greater than that of fight for independence

  16. these are the kind of professors we have in country Kenya we have no future, i think i should even stop perusing my bachelor if masters or PhD will make me reason like this fool, this is too bad for a great nation, its a very bad thing to be a educated sycophant, and again being educated does not necessarily mean you are learned, am thrown in imbroglio. mr Micheal wainaina you are a a big fool in the name of a professor, stop spoiling that noble name. remember am just a student. think about this

  17. It’s time we put our trible like behind and fight for our motherland, we wish for a country that will instil values of hard work to the coming generations, right now many kids or rather students have lost the interest to work hard in school because they know that without good connection they’ll be tamacking, even if they start business, no one will even offer them a tender if they know no one….let’s be unique,lets wake up from this dream, kenya is a beautiful country, rich and with hardworking people…..kindly lets open our eyes!!!!!

  18. Someone once said; “The freedom that we now celebrates, someone shade his blood for it.” This will never change in True Kenyan patriot’s heart and souls regardless of occasions

  19. On this one, good ole’ Professor Wainaina, you struck a cheap blow. The list of Mashujaa Day 2016 heroes targeted latter day ordinary Kenyans that have played a role in their society to make a difference and inspire their lot. By singling out Shujaa Oginga Odinga you are playing to the public gallery and, to those willing to dig a little further, coming across as no different from the politicians you aim your barbs at. I expect that your target audience cuts across the crust of our society, not just the easily swayed who will take a “professor’s” verbose as gospel truth. Please refer here to the complete list and the rationale for their selection

  20. All of us are beneficiary of our HEROES struggle, the likes of JARAMOGI, KAPENGURIAS and others. I agree with u it’s shameful to omit such names on their special day. Political rivalry should not interfere with our national holidays.

  21. I mirror your thoughts on this pal.. You can not decide to run a country like it was a private property but the good thing is that Kenyans are gradually rising above tribes and history will judge the current crop of clueless leadership very harshly.

  22. whether the odinga’s,tom mboya etc were omitted from being mentioned during the mashujaa day does’nt mean they were forgotten, but the president recongized the heros that most kenyan’s never hear about.professor bring up another topic.

  23. Average people are always threatened by great people. Average minds with great minds. Persons with base values by those with universal humanitarian values. The former will always wish the latter do not exist, even just memories of them haunts.

  24. Whoever adviced the president to omit this unsung heroes is misleading him .This disintegrating unity among some kenyans who were on the course of healing from 2007/08
    It’s even strengthen the opposition and Raila himself
    Remember what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger!

  25. If asked Ruto will say Uhuru is a hero while Uhuru will also say Ruto is a hero!and all corrupt elected MPs senetors governors and mcas will say they r lets declare ourselves unsung heros.

  26. Blinded by juvenile hatred and schoolboy tribalism,somebody did not mention the Odingas and the heroes list and subsequently made them super heroes and the way,anybody to remind me who were on that time advice the president accordingly.some heroes are more famous,larger in life or death than the president who chooses to ignore them.

  27. missing to acknowledge some people on a national list also shows a shift in equilibrium to biasness n that ends into a question of why mention six heroes from one community at the expense of others, nway I’m not disputing Presidents’ speech but it was kind of biased

  28. Njoroks, kaus,nyashs and Wang’s you are now crieng coz kips,muts and cheps are now heading to opposite have only three months of pride baada ya hapo,kulia na kusaga meno.kuni;

  29. We are talking of heroes and not saints. Whoever is doubting Oginga Odinga’s hero state is either a hater or an ignoramus. Heroes too have their share of shortcomings. But their achievements are outstanding. Jomo for example isn’t a genuine hero. He was forced into glory, so to speak. If you peruse his history well, He wasn’t a freedom fighter though he was jailed mistakenly. When he assumed power, corruption, impunity and ethnicity were his ideologies.

  30. Well, just as you have put it, it was purely meant to piss-off the opposition because they really give these looters sleepless nights. So, however petty it may look on the person of a president, the mission was accomplished. But, am pretty sure he lost a point or two on this.

  31. Its time we fight back and take what is ours. This corrupt government has put us in debt that has enslaved generations forcing us to live in eternal wretchedness. No one is immune to poverty.
    Its crazy to see public resources being looted with impunity and no one is held accountable. Let’s not be divided by tribalism but think of ourselves as proud Kenyans, anyone can be a victim of this massive stealing of public funds by this corrupt scam bags. We all watched on national television recently how the President was hopelessly whining and blaming the judiciary. His hand is in the cookie jar and he’s part of the problem. Don’t believe his lies and don’t think of the opposition as the lesser evil to the solution of ending this disaster. Nobody care about us and they’ll never will. We’ve had enough of their lies and thievery and as We the people have the power to end corruption not them.
    Let’s all act now and end this shit.
    Click on the link below and join the movement #BeyondZeroCorruption don’t forget to share with your friends

  32. Ask ur question why nt kenyans recorgise him? Many reasons odinga was nt among hero pple he did nothing only to shed deh blood of innocent pple lk what he left behind only destoy deh peace of kenya mayb he will b a hero of devill. Let not to do deh dhings wid no reason.

  33. ##Jaramogi Oginga Ondinga….The doyen of politics in Kenya and a hero not to be forgotten#

    Habari yako is good that we have people like you who note what might be considered small things by the majority but quite big in the eyes of people who love their country,respect people (dead or alive) who in one way or the other contributed to the well being of our beloved country in all spheres of life…people who understand that no country can forge ahead without banking on it’s past history and the spirit of it’s founders.
    Professor I want to point out here in writing that,some things only happen in Kenya…..and the list of such things is endless for example it is only in Kenya that heroes and heroines are forgotten, it does not matter what they did professor, Kenyans just forget them.
    But I think the problems is forgetting I don’t know where Kenyans acquired this decease called forgetting!!!!!!!! I don’t know whether they were taught in schools, Sunday school or from the food that we eat especially chips because the urbanites are the highly affected by this decease despite being well educated and having all the sources of information at their disposal. Kenyans have perfected the art of forgetting everything….. Name it good or bad especially if it is not in the news….. Professor you and I know who is the late Hon.Jaramogi Oginga Ondinga the doyen of politics in Kenya we know his role in agitating for indipedence between early fifties and late sixties, making sure the kapenguria six were released, keeping Jomo Kenyatta government on it’s toes and accountable, the same applied to Nyayo government until him and others like Matiba, Rubia, Sikuku, Maside, Keen,Koigi, Mathai, karua,Raila,Orengo …….decided enough is enough and formed a force that made Nyayo and his boys agree to multiparty politics that eventually wrestled power from the mammoth KANU.Professor I think Jaramogi gave his entire life to Kenyans because as far as I remember he fought against bad governance and agitated for a number of freedoms that kenyans enjoy today up to the last day of his life.May his soul rest in peace….now three decades are not even over professor and no one seems to remember him……..what do you want me to say apart from joining you in feeling ashamed and i point out strongly that…….Kenyans have completely lost it.

  34. What heroic deed is attributed to him? When KANU was founded in kiambu,odinga was given the vice chairman ship to make it National,When independence became certain,he opposed it coz the Gichuru- mboya duo would be at the top.He favoured the sickly and old Kenyatta because in his warped mind thought he would be easy to wrest power from,the rest is history .Sober up,what heroic did? Plse tell.

  35. Odinga was like Angle Gabriel to Kenyatta when he was in prison hate him or love him still the saviour of Kenyatta au agemuwacha akufie jale washezi nyinyi hamuna asenta kwerraaa

  36. Who is responsible for recognising and drawing a list of Kenyan heroes and what criteria? It’s wrong in all languages to deliberately omit somebody’s name from a list he deserves to be in. It should never be somebody doesn’t like someone, because heroism is public not individual recognition. There are many heroes and heroines, some of who were detained and died and not mentioned anywhere. There were also those found around heroes and for being arrested and jailed around that time, they are considered as heroes. That is about struggle for independence. In the post independence struggle the list of heroes is long. There are those who died and others detained or jailed unjustly. My opinion is that, if it’s necessary for us to recognize and honour our heroes, let’s have a commission for this purpose which will come up with a comprehensive unbiased list.

  37. My grandfather was a mau mau fighter thus ended up loosing his land in kiambu 2 a homeguard,when they came from the bush they were dumped in nakuru 2 await kenyatta gov 2 gv them alternative land.he got employment as a herder in one of homeguard who was given thousands of acres belonging 2 mzungu,they were working without pay & no one could here their grievances,he died a poor man.With me i dont recognize any hero in kenya,majority of the so called heroes were after there stomach.only bildad kaggia who tried 2 defy the odd thus died poor.

  38. Moses Mwendia

    We know that man is to error, and errors of commission or commission must occur uncouth to. But we can detect when the error is d rtone deliberately. It’s was gt for the Presildent to omit Odinga’s as long as promotion of national cohesion is concerned. He might have omitted it to oppress a certain group, but it wasn’t advisable. In deed we need change Mr prof. It is the highest time for Kenyans to stop talking of two horse race for the change we need can’t be brought by the cord co-principals, not Musalia, nor jubilee. We need new fresh blood in the political system. The current system, each party leader has his political supporters, whose support he is not ready to lose. If these supporters are mentioned in corruption, their leaders defends them.Eg in a coalition govt, charity was a water minister. She was mentioned in corruption but Raila sore to stand with her so as to retain her support and her kamba. In the current government Ruto has been mentioned severally. Not shamba not Weston nor jet. Yet the President has given him a blind eye so as to retain his support and raft valley. We should aso not forgot that we Kenyans have a big role to play. We should stop associating ourselves with the corrupt such that whenever leaders is mentioned, pple from his tribe says tunaonewa. We should even disown whoever messes him/her self with corruption. Otherwise I congratulate you Mr prof, for your effort to send a ray of light to Kenyans.

  39. We know that man is to error, and errors of commission or omission may occur. But we can detect when the error is done deliberately. It’s was uncouth for the Presildent to omit Odinga’s name as long as promotion of national cohesion is concerned. He might have omitted it to oppress a certain group, but it wasn’t advisable. In deed we need change Mr prof. It is the highest time for Kenyans to stop talking of two horse race for the change we need can’t be brought by either the cord co-principals, not Musalia, nor jubilee. We need new fresh blood in the political system. In the current system, each party leader has his political supporters, whose support he is not ready to lose. If these supporters are mentioned in corruption, their leaders defends them.Eg in a coalition govt, charity was a water minister. She was mentioned in corruption but Raila sore to stand with her so as to retain her support and her kamba. In the current government Ruto has been mentioned severally. Not shamba not Weston nor jet. Yet the President has given him a blind eye so as to retain his support and raft valley. So many but only a few to mention. We should also not forgot that we Kenyans have a big role to play. We should stop associating ourselves with the corrupt such that whenever leaders is mentioned, pple from his tribe says tunaonewa. We should even disown whoever messes him/her self with corruption. Otherwise I congratulate you Mr prof, for your effort to send a ray of light to Kenyans.

  40. My question is ; we have had mashujaa day and mashujaas since the advent of new constitution in 2010. Are the 2016 heroes the only mashujaas ? Why all the hullabaloo about certain missing names ?

  41. one,,,thing Odinga should and must be remembered for,, is the personal contribution and sacrifice of supporting Kenyan students to study in Europe and USSR ,,nobody else even Jomo..,didn’t do more than our father Jaramogi did.. the only one who tried is Tom ,,,but my in_law, Odinga should be remembered as a great Hero ..but his son Raila .,only God knows the bloodshed this man has pasted on Kenya streets trying to take power,,, thirsty for power is the only thing he should be remembered for,,,,

  42. At this rate, a future president will in future name Uhuru Kenyatta a hero for distorting heroism n omitting Sure heroes without a backlash! The president is of sound mind and knows he was ignorantly wrong!

  43. I always ask myself the criteria used to identify these mashujaa and am left wondering if banding together those who have excelled in talents like athletes, boxing and rugby are indeed mashujaas then we miss the whole point.there is a call for one to go out of his way for the good of the country and show casing ones talent in a competition are two different things.

    • @Peter mwancha,Kenyans don’t know heroes and such a day to me should be remove from our calendars, sportsmen and women are never heroes! They’re seeking financial gains out of it,if any of them have given all the gold and money they won in competitions to charity or government then he’s a hero,but non has ever done that,in fact I have heard some going on strikes to be paid

    • Hilary K Adams We need a very robust national debate on who is a hero. We have not had one and the only criteria we have is whatever the government honchos dream of. This is one area that needs to be devoid of politics. But like everything else, our politicians have desecrated this.

    • Prof.Michael Michael Wanaina-PhD,such a debate shall never be fort coming, heroism is at the disposal of the president don’t be surprise to hear Kalembe Ndile being named a hero with all his stupidity

  44. Sorry to delve in an area where am not an expert.but my little historical knowledge tells me that some playboy came back from england and woodwinked pple that all the while he was fighting for can vist the archives for more information.historians mpo?

  45. You spit vomits any tym you post myopic opinions. Let’s look at all who lived during the coloniol late regime as heroes is the like’s of jaramogi are something to go with. It’s only in luo culture of myopic plans of 1976 as kenyatta 1 visited rassia hosp leading to death and cafew . If one intends or plan to kill apresident does he become aheroe?

  46. I don’t think he is a hero because he was given the President by the mzungu, but refused because he knew he did nothing and had to wait for the real hero. Kenyatta. But if there sons won’t respect the day, how on earth can I respect him.

  47. you are a professor but you engage in pettiness.Hakuna mtu hana upungufu yawa.We are discussing mega corruption but you decide to discuss politics and fame.The president read a few names and said “among other great Kenyans” he couldn’t have read all names of heroes in Kenya,they are many. Is Jaramogi not among other great Kenyans???

  48. The mashunjaa thing died along time ago. Just look at 2014 dias at kasarani n notice where the one and only Kimathis wife was seated. This mashunjaa thing happens to ridicule the real hero’s when political class is reaping the benefits.

  49. Political differences played a great roll on the matter,like fadher like son,dont expect uhuru to be a good president,leader with integrity or to behave like a leader when his fadher was not like that,uhuru does not hv what it takes to be where he is right now but because of how we citizens treat their own even when their integrity r questionable is what hs made kenya to go through this shameful acts.

  50. Kenya’s 3 Presidents and governments also refuse to acknowledge The Late Field Marshal Dedan Kimathi Wachiuri for over 40 years but that did not stop ordinary Kenyans from acknowledging his contributions to Kenya’s independence from Great Britain.

  51. The only way to escape the personal corruption of praise is to go on working. One is tempted to stop and listen to it. The only thing is to turn away and go on working. Work. There is nothing else.
    Albert Einstein

  52. Could all the names of shujaas have been printed in those few papers,,???naivety is eating u pple.we have thousands of old men who fought for this country but were NVR mentioned why oginga so special ama ni ile wivu tu????

  53. Kwani Kuna uhuru ulipiganiwa? Infact the british did us a favor. The advantages outweighs the disadvantages. If it’s true we were better off without the British, where are we today? We haven’t moved a single step forward. Xo the problem is us. Don’t look elsewhere for the problems bedeviling us. I think if the british had stayed for a while , we would be far ahead in terms of development. A gud example is South Africa.

  54. Wainana you are teaching nothing here we are been in school first just tell us the scandals which is going on you have grabbed the lands now you are running with CBK to finish the economy don’t tell us bullshit here am going to brock any thing you write i don’t want to see your face

  55. If people with exemplery performances in sports are shujaas then those with mega bussinesses should also be shujaas. I think we are missing something. Someone must give an elaborate definition of a real ‘shujaa’. As for the case of jaramogi being omitted, l have no was a shame and the greatest disrepect for a warrior and a political icon that shaped the history of our nation.

  56. It’s funny how you claimed to be a neutral political blogger yet all you do is criticize Jubilee. Would you open your mind Prof and say something…..for once about the others too? Or are they angels? Or your sponsors?

  57. #Proffesor


  59. we should embrace those who fought for our freedom who revolutionised our why of politics form a single party to multiple its not about opposition its about being a patriot let those who think and stay in there ethnic cocoons stay there they will fall as the country fall thinking of tribal lines at 21century you must be sick our borrowing rate at the imf is abnormal and worrying just think about your fellow citizens you should be your brothers keepers

  60. What does mention of a name got to do with heroism or lack of it. Spare us this nonsense. All our real heroes have been forgotten by successive governments. Write about ‘how heroes have been neglected by the government, and sugges what need to be done ‘, I will read that article with delight

  61. Am not sure you’re a professor as you like identifying yourself, because i wonder how can you write paragraphs and paragraphs of an issue that has little or no impact in an ordinary kenyan life. Failure to mention Jaramogi’s name won’t change his social political status.Remember professors are considered as high level thinkers and with this pls stop referring yourself as one.

  62. This professors are a disgrace to our country …they cannot solve a simple problem like tribalism they are just writing and taking with out anything to show off heri politicians

  63. thankx pro I love your ideology but I think in Kenya we only have mashujaa wawili tu Buildad kagiya and Jm kariuki, just follow them and you will concur with me that at the onset if we would have followed there ideology Kenya would be heaven to leave in today ….

  64. After reading the coments
    Am ashamed that we kenyans are fanatics
    That we kenyans r blinded
    That we kenyans have failed our own country
    That we are a shameful beings
    Truth sucks
    We will suffer for our foolishness n fanatic ideas.
    We need to change.
    Shame on the government
    Shame on our shujaas
    Shame on yu teachers
    Shame on me
    Shame on yu all

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