Summary: The President offers his best wishes for the New Year.
As we come to the end of the Year 2020 and we usher in the New Year - 2021, my family and I are today delighted to convey our best wishes to all Kenyans at home and abroad.
The dawn of a New Year is not just a calendar event that marks the passage of time. It symbolizes transition, renewed hope, new opportunities and limitless possibilities. A New Year brings with it the chance for rebirth, renewal as well as restoration.
But we cannot experience the ‘newness’ of a new year without a renewal of minds. I say so because you cannot seize the opportunities and limitless possibilities of 2021, if we are stuck in the mind-set of the old year 2020 and the previous years.
This year just ending has tested all of us immensely – individually as well as collectively as a nation – it has tested us in ways we have never experienced before; we have experienced many individual as well as collective tragedies. But, it has also been one of numerous unstated individual as well as collective triumphs; for in the moment of adversity lay also the seeds of opportunity.
As the pandemic spread across the world, our homes transformed into protective incubation capsules for those that we love. Like returning to a mother's womb, our walls became the hiding place, sheltering us from COVID-19; and we depended on this space for everything. Our homes became our places of worship, they became our schools, our playgrounds, our places of work. The pandemic has no doubt stretched us and the way we orient our families and indeed on the way we live.
Caught in the middle of this new normal were our children who missed the joy of the playground and the happiness they experience while learning together. They have been trying hard to adopt to the restricted way of living; while many have been able to adapt, survive and some even thrive, some felt trapped and unfortunately buckled.
So fellow Kenyans, in this New Year, we need to look deep into the heart of the family. We need to invest time in helping our children come out of this situation, and come out of it, stronger in character. It will take each father, each mother and each child, to truly listen to each other, and place the interest of the family front and centre. For as we do everything to make sure that the coronavirus disease doesn't damage the bodies, we must now also do everything to ensure that it doesn't ravage our souls.
And so tonight, to all our children, I speak to you as a father; I speak to you as a grandfather. To our teenagers, hold yourself together. Gather the strength, the gifts, the talents and the energy within yourself; and harness it. Do not throw away your youth, your potential to the harrowing the wind. If you will remain focused, and true to yourself and to your values, you will indeed overcome. You will, indeed, rise, be better and build better.
Just like our children, the business community was also caught up in the middle of this new normal. We have had more shut downs in business and less start-ups. But, I believe that this down-turn is an opportunity to re-imagine our business models and embrace innovation. Yes, indeed, I do believe that the year 2021 is the year of rebuilding.
Therefore, in the New Year - 2021, I urge every Kenyan to adjust their mind-set and to embrace the spirit of renewal and hope, possibilities, growth as well as triumph. For in each and every Kenyan lies unimaginable depth of greatness just waiting to come to the fore. The New Year presents a unique opportunity in the life of our nation to re-imagine our society, bring back the family to the centre of our communities, and re-build a gentler, and indeed kinder, Kenya.
And, YES it is true, we cannot wish away the woes of 2020, but if we change our perspective, there is no doubt that we can bounce back and bounce back better. I know that we cannot reverse our losses, but we can rebuild what we had before the onset of COVID-19.
But, fellow Kenyans, we must always remember that re-building requires a renewal of the mind and sheer boldness. Those who embrace the two virtues will, no doubt, prosper in 2021.
With the New Year, anticipated as the year of rebuilding, the year of re-taking lost territory and the year of bold decisions, we also call upon you, our fellow Kenyans, to also embrace it as the Year of the First Amendment.
As I said in my Madaraka Day as well as my Mashujaa and Jamhuri Day addresses this year, the country is staring at a constitutional moment. And you all know that in a constitutional moment, the Soul of the Nation is constantly in turmoil. More so over elections and the perpetual quest for regime change.
The proposed First Amendment to our Constitution in 2021, I believe, is a bold path that seeks to lay the foundation for a more just, more inclusive, more equitable and more prosperous Kenya. It also seeks to make right our politics by eliminating “Winner Takes All” and replacing it with “We All Win”.
As we close 2020, and indeed on behalf of a grateful Nation, I wish to recognize and thank our medics, our healthcare workers, our security forces for their exemplary courage and sacrifice during the continued COVID-19 pandemic. Each and every one of them is a hero in our eyes.
On the 4th of January 2021, all our Learners will resume their schooling; with in-person classes and this is from inception class, all the way to those offered by tertiary learning institutions. I wish them all well and I want to assure them and their parents, as well as their guardians that my Government will do everything in its power to ensure their health and safety remains our foremost consideration.
To every farmer, teacher, artisan, artist, to every worker and entrepreneur, to every innovator and to every investor; I wish to assure you that 2021 is the year of Building Back Better, building back better for opportunity, building back better for reclaiming lost ground, and for realizing greater growth as well as opportunity and possibility.
Again, I wish every Kenyan, whether at home or abroad, a blessed and indeed prosperous New Year. In 2021, we will as individual families, and as a People, cast aside the shackles of 2020. We will overcome the hurdles that were placed in our path in 2020 and start a new leap into the New Year, a year I believe will be one of limitless opportunities.
In 2021, I am certain that we have the courage to do what we must, what is necessary; at the end of the year we will look back and remark at how 2021 was a momentous year in our nation’s history.
May the GOD of ALL CREATION Bless you all at HOME and in the DIASPORA. May He Bless our country Kenya and May He bring GOOD TIDINGS in the New Year.
I thank you.
Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, CGHPresident of the Republic of Kenya