TITLE: Kenya National Anthem – A Prayer for Kenya
To the best of my memory the very first time I was ever asked to speak without notes on a subject was in high school during the inter-house music and drama festival. The scheduled speaker grew cold feet and I was asked to speak, I forget the subject but am pretty sure I still have the certificate because guess what, I won in that category.
As life has progressed I have had numerous opportunities to speak in public. And sadly along the way I lost the art of speaking impromptu on any subject. I now prefer to research, to study, to write down my speaking notes and follow them through on d-day. That has become my comfort zone, the place I have been flourishing in for most of my adult life.
In June this year (2017) I had the privilege to meet Uncle Moody Awori the 9th Vice President of the Republic of Kenya. I was so excited for the meeting, I was literally falling all over myself.
I had written my first book (Kenya National Anthem Devotional) and was now in the stage of seeking endorsement from various persons. So, this one day I am in an office just outside town; I had gone to meet a certain person to seek their endorsement for my book. It was not to be, they politely declined. While there, my friend Stanley, I have known him for 20 years and counting, called me. It was a bit strange because we don’t talk on phone as often; but it was all providence. I asked to call him later because I was in a meeting. After the meeting I called him back and said I would pass by his office in town. When we met, I told him what I was upto and why I was in that office earlier. He looked through the Kenya National Anthem series on my blog and immediately said, I know the man to endorse you: Uncle Moody Awori.
Welcome to the #18daychallenge movement.
This is a movement committed to take 18 days to pray for Kenya in the words of the Kenya National Anthem using the KENYA NATIONAL ANTHEM DEVOTIONAL.
I know what you are thinking, the Anthem has 18 lines? Yes, it does. 18 lines to one of the most well thought, well articulated and potent prayers I have ever come across. And guess what, it is Kenyan through and through!
For many Kenyans the Kenyan National Anthem was introduced to us as law, as a compulsory component of the syllabus. We were taught to sing it since lower Primary School all through every education institution at the raising and sometimes at the lowering of the Kenyan flag. Not because we like the anthem, not because we even understood the anthem; but mostly because we did not have a choice.
Allow to reintroduce the Kenya National Anthem to you.
This Anthem is many things but for now I will let us in on two: It is a symbol of unity and it is a prayer.
The Kenya National Anthem is a symbol of unity. We only have one National Anthem for every tribe, every county, every individual in Kenya. When we sing it with pride, mostly during sporting events, we all sing one anthem. It brings us together, it binds us together.
Second and most important the Kenya National Anthem is a prayer, yes a prayer. If you sit down with the composers of the Anthem, yous see it shining in their eyes. The passion they have for the Anthem, and how sacred they hold it. How important they deem it, how precious they perceive it.
The Kenya National Anthem is a prayer. And the first line sets that out, just incase you are in doubt:
O God of all creation
We begin this potent prayer by raising our eyes up, our voices high to the God of all creation.
My challenge to you today, look for the words of the Kenya National Anthem, read through them slowly, reflectively. Then learn those words by heart: all three verses, the entire 18 lines. And next time you have an opportunity to sing the Anthem, pray through it. Pray to the God of all creation.
This is just the beginning of a journey for us as Kenyans, a journey of prayer, a journey to patriotism and nationalism.
Welcome to the a conscious singing of the Kenya National Anthem using the KENYA NATIONAL ANTHEM DEVOTIONAL.
Commit your work to the Lord,
and your plans will be established.
On Saturday 8th July 2017 at Daystar University, Nairobi Campus surrounded by friends and family and only by the grace of God my first book (self published) KENYA NATIONAL ANTHEM, DEVOTIONAL was launched.
aririririririririririri aririririririririri ariririririririri ariririririririririri (ululations, I am a girl so I get four ????)
God did it for us. He walked with me and with us from idea conception to the launch and even after He still is with me and us. I a in awe of His kindness to me, especially knowing how frail and trivial and disobedient and unfaithful I can be with Him.
I call Him Father, and He has been a Good Good Father to me.
It takes a village to raise a child my people say.
And I dare say that it takes a village to write and publish a book.
I had a few favorite teachers in graduate school. One of them is Prof. Mark Shaw. He is man of wisdom and calmness, I enjoyed the one class he taught me and the other that his prodigy taught me using his well prepared notes. In this class, Prof. Shaw used his manuscript for his now published book “Work, Pray, Love: A Visual Guide to Calling, Career and the Mission of God”.
In his book ‘the village’ is one of the tenets he looks at when it comes to work, pray and love. He encouraged us to know our village, the different layers of it, from the core to the outer parts and cultivate relationships within the village.
Lucas Owako is one of those people in my village. Together with his beautiful wife Victoria, their son Ariel and daughter Olive, they are part of my village. Lucas is one of the brightest minds I know, as well as someone who is not easily ticked off. I say that tongue in check because in graduate school I once served in student leadership with him and he successfully led us through several days of ‘quiet protest’ (read, absconding chapel in a christian university). He went through the first draft with a toothpick dotting every I and crossing every T.
My godmother Helen Maina is right in the core of my village. She is amazing: amazing sounds like an understatement. Together with her gals and two boys and precious grandchildren. I am glad to call them family.
I have been trying during this entire project to take care of my village and not in any way neglect them as I pursue this new path the LORD has set before me.
Having a village and allowing them to participate in your success requires balance and strength.
By God’s grace, I hope and pray I am keeping the balance.
Amani Bawata one of the people in my village had this to say about the devotional:
Growing up, I could sing the National Anthem and the recite the Loyalty Pledge. While I mourn the loss of such seeds of patriotism, I celebrate this effort to both rebuild the foundations of our patriotism but much more, to unearth the deep truths found in our National Anthem. This devotional is ideal for all Kenyans: for the old to be reminded and for the young to be taught: that the founding fathers of Kenya acknowledged the place of God in the growth of Kenya. I recommend this devotional to all Kenyans to read, meditate, study and apply it both as individuals and as groups. – Amani Bawata
My full name is Joyce Wanjiku Mwangi.
I am named after my maternal grandmother the late Sarah Wanjiku Kuria may she continue to rest in peace.
I wish she was still alive to see this project unfold. I wish she was here to witness the book launch in a few hours time…
I wish, I wish…
But she is not here. She wont be there at the launch either…
What puts a smile on my lips though is memories of her.
Who she was, her prayer and prophetic ministry.
One of my favourite teachers in graduate school was (still is) Dr. John Evans. He taught me Hebrew, I fell in love with the language and it loved me right back.
I have not in any way mentioned Greek, nor is the above statement to be looked in the opposite when it comes to Greek ???: who am I kidding, me and Greek never hit it off!
So back to Dr. Evans.
He had a ‘providence clause’ in all his course outlines. A clause that never ceased to tickle me throughout my school life. It went something like this:
Providence is the only reason you are allowed not to hand in your papers on time or fail to sit an exam. Providence is an act of God, including death and illness . . . (my paraphrase isn’t quite as humorous as the original)
Well as grace would have it, I got a chance to invoke my right to use the provident clause. You should have seen the grin on my face and the twinkle in my eye as I answered yes to the providence clause . . .
Yes, I have self-published my first book.
Let’s take a moment of silence and celebrate the goodness of the LORD! Hallelujah
It is you who light my lamp;
the Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.
By you I can crush a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
This God—his way is perfect;
the promise of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
2 Samuel 22:29-31/ Psalm 18:28-30
My God has been my lamp, He has lit up my darkness on this journey.
By Him I have crushed troops and leaped over walls.
He has fulfilled every promise as regards this project and the self publishing journey. And indeed He has been my shield as I have continued to take refuge in Him.
‘Cold calling’ has become my second nature as I have walked the self-publishing route.
Hello, My name is Joyce Mwangi and I have written a book. It is a devotional on the Kenya National Anthem, all the 18 lines (i doubt some people knew that they are 18 lines in the Kenya National Anthem ???). And the devotional has study questions for each line . . .
I have lost count of the number of times I have walked up to complete strangers, written them an email, or even called them and said the above lines to them.
For my husband his line has been:
Hello, my wife has written a book that you should look at. It is a devotional on the Kenya National Anthem . . .
And thanks to him and his courage, I have entered some offices I hitherto would have imagined too high for me. Thank you Sammy.
But not all of my calls have been ‘cold call’s. I have called and met friends and acquaintances that have been so kind to me and the project. Like the first person who endorsed my book, Rev. Canon Rosemary Mbogo: God bless her. This is what she said:
This Kenya National Anthem devotional is a deep well thought Bible based tool. It is a must read for families, institutions of learning and all members of the body of faith. If well embraced with understanding as a specific prayer to Him who is the provider of everything, it sets an environ of reverence, anticipation and great harmony. It powerfully articulates God’s character of love. Further it analysis his facets of him being God of blessing, God of justice echoing Micah 6: 8, as well as God of unity, peace and liberty. Put in the hands of young learners it would influence positively their mindsets and direct their paths in loving their God, themselves, others and their Nation.
Rev Canon Rosemary Mbogo (ACK Provincial Secretary/ NCCK Chairperson)
Indeed with my God I have leaped over walls as a self-published author ?
Order you book here.
Yes, I am author now ???!!!!
See the grace of God at work.
I have published my first series that I ever did on the blog (you’d think I have been blogging for a century and have a similar number of series’s ??)
The series I have published is on the Kenya National Anthem. It is a verse by verse, line by line devotional with study questions that seeks to dig deeper into the prayer that is our national anthem.
To say that I am excited is an understatement, I am elated, I am over the roof but I am also exhausted.
No-one warned me that there is a difference between blogging and publishing, transiting from the web into paper is not an easy safari. But it is one that has been both a learning experience and a stretching trip.
In a few days time the book will be available for sale. In the meantime you can pre-order your copy/s today here.
And would you believe it, I have already sold three copies ???. There are people who have a lot of faith in me, clearly.
Let’s do this!
PS: In the next couple of days I will be letting you in on a few things inside the book, including what people have said.
Author – Kenya National Anthem, Devotional