CIO East Africa Nairobi Lilian Mutegi
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Kenya marked its 54th Birthday yesterday and Google helped Kenya mark this day with a Google Doodle.

Dubbed as Jamhuri Day, the day marks the day Kenya got its Independence and is observed on December 12th. Jamhuri is a Swahili word for Republic. The day is one of the East African nation’s most momentous national holidays, commemorated with political speeches, feasts, marching bands, and Kenyan dancers dressed in brightly colored traditional costumes.

Kenyans have double reason to celebrate today. It was on this pivotal day in 1963 that the former colony won its long-awaited freedom from British rule, and exactly one year later, was admitted into the Commonwealth as a republic. Fittingly, Independence Day is also known as Jamhuri Day–“Jamhuri” is Swahili for “Republic.”

With independence came a new flag for Kenya. Colored in black, red and green and bearing a Maasai warrior’s shield and spears, the flag is emblematic of its African people, their fight for freedom, and the country’s natural resources.

The tricolor flag is also a touchstone for the Maasai people’s iconic beadwork bracelets, beloved by locals, and the inspiration for today’s Doodle–a nod to the significance of Jamhuri and Kenya’s distinctive cultural identity. The Google Doodle was inspired by the Kenyan Flag and the beadwork bracelet.