The Fallen Hero
To Jimmy Kibaki & the family of Mwai Kibaki; The Kenyan Ambassador and members of the government; to distinguished guests, To The Chairman of The New Democrats & TND team members, To Thatch House & the organising team of this event;
It is a singular honour to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. To the people of Kenya, people of every race and walks of life, and the world. Thank you for sharing Mwai Kibaki with us.
His struggle was our struggle. His triumph was our triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life today. Democracy is his cherished legacy.
It is hard to eulogize any man – to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person – their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul.
How much harder to do so for a giant of history, a man who left a historical monuments of legacy, who moved Kenya nation toward social justice, to economic development, to prosperity to maendeleo; and in the process, moved billions around the world, to empowerment.
For the people of Kenya, for those he inspired around the globe, Mwai Kibaki passing is rightly a time of mourning, but a time to celebrate his heroic life. I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection.
With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask; how well have we applied his lessons in our own lives?
Mwai Kibaki reminds us that it always seems impossible until it is done. Kenya shows us that is true. Kenya shows us we can change. We can choose to live in a world defined not by our differences, but by our common hopes. We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity and togetherness.
We will never see the likes of Mwai Kibaki again. But let me say to the young people of Kenya and the world, you can make his life’s work your own.
For almost a decade, he inspired in me the desires to serve in politics. The late Hon Mwai Kibaki struggles for democracy and inclusion in the land of Kenya, stirred in me to emirate his steps and change a life. It invoked my desires to serve and to uphold my responsibilities to others, a resounding decision that placed me on this journey that finds me here today.
And while I will always fall short of Kibakis example, he makes me want to be better. It motivates me to know I can learn from the hero. Kibaki speaks to what is best inside us.
Today this economic and development great liberator is laid to rest; some returned to our cities and villages, and rejoined our daily routines. For us left behind, let us search then for his strength – for his largeness of spirit – somewhere inside ourselves.
And when the night grows dark, when injustice weighs heavy on our hearts, or our best laid plans seem beyond our reach – think of Mwai Kibaki and the words that brought him comfort when he was struggling to stir Kenya out of poverty.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with difficulties the scroll was, he was a master of his excellence, he was the captain of his soul.
What a great soul it was. We will miss him deeply. May God bless the memory of Mwai Kibaki. May God bless the people of Kenya. May his baceon of light always burn in our hearts.
Rest In Peace Your greatness,. Your solidarity is our hope and strength. Bye bye daddy. We loved you very much, but God loves you more.
On behalf of Jimmy Kibaki, The Deputy Leader of The New Democrats Party, and the Chairman Dr Thuo Mathenge, I will leave you with words of thanks. Remain very blessed many thanks.
The New Democrats Diaspora Team.
Assistant Ambassador UK
Former Mayor of Dagenham London
Cllr. Elizabeth Kang’ethe