BBC Ranks Kenya’s National Anthem Among Best in the World

The Kenyan national anthem has been ranked among the best in the world.

In a ranking that was released by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Music Magazine on Friday, the national choral was recognised among the 14 best anthems worldwide.

The BBC analysed anthems that have been played in the global arena such as the Olympics.

In particular, the panel responsible for judging the anthems acknowledged its originality as it emanated from a Pokomo lullaby.

President William Ruto inspecting a guard of honour in Japan on February 8, 2024.


“In a world dominated by national anthems written in major keys, Kenya’s stern minor-key tune is a welcome rarity. Unlike many others, too, it was not written by a composer shipped in from elsewhere but, based on a traditional Pokomo tune, was the work of local people led by a government commission set up after independence from the UK in 1963.

“With opening lines that mean ‘O God our strength Bring a blessing to us’, expect to hear it regularly at the Olympic Stadium, often (though not exclusively) after long-distance track events,”

Other countries whose national anthems also made it to the exclusive list were the Netherlands, France, Germany, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, South Africa and Spain.

Uruguay, Russia and Wales were also recognised for having the best national melodies.

Kenya’s national anthem is a three stansa music piece which tells the story of the Kenyan spirit and outlines the values of the country.

The national hymn is also a call to action for peace and unity. 

“Let one and all arise. With hearts both strong and true. Service be our earnest endeavour. And our homeland of Kenya. Heritage and splendour. Firm may we stand to defend,” reads the second stansa.

Notably, the anthem is usually played at official national events, schools and sporting events such as the Olympics.

The anthem was composed by Mzee Menza Morowa Galana of Makere village who passed on at the age of 96 in November 2015.

Mzee Menza Morowa Galana who is credited for composing the national anthem.


Swahili Route

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