Jamhuri Day, also called Independence Day, is observed in Kenya every year on 12 December.
The holiday formally marks the date of the country’s admittance in 1964 into the Commonwealth as a republic and takes its name from the Swahili word “jamhuri”, republic.
The day also marks the date Kenya obtained its independence from Great Britain in 1963.
Under British rule since the late 19th century, Kenya officially became a British colony in 1920.
The colonial administration opposed African demands for a greater role in the political process, and it was not until 1944 that an African was included in the colony’s legislature.
Disputes over land and cultural traditions still persisted, and the movement against colonial rule culminated in the Mau Mau uprisings in the 1950s – during which the country was plunged into a state of emergency through most of the decade.
Africans gained some social and economic concessions as a result of the uprisings, and African political participation increased in the early 1960s.
Kenya gained independence on 12 December 1963, and became a republic a year later with Jomo Kenyatta as its president.
Earlier this year, general elections in Kenya sparked dissent as Deputy President William Ruto bagged a narrow victory, whilst the Commonwealth has called for peace trusting a democratic and fair process.