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My brother and colleague, Mr. Joe Mucheru, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Information Communications and Technology,

Principal Secretaries Present,
Board and Management of the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC),
Dr. Naim Bilal, Chief Executive Officer, Kenya
Broadcasting Cooperation,
Senior Government officials,
Living Legends,
Invited Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening,
Let me begin by thanking the organisers of this auspicious event for such a well-thought-out initiative that seeks to appreciate, celebrate and honour outstanding individuals who have left an indelible mark in this country’s media and the arts industry.To me – and many of us here today – this moment is a reminiscence of the time when KBC, as the only TV station in Kenya, coloured our days with enthralling and awe-inspiring programmes like Tausi, Tahamaki, Vitimbi, Vituko, Vionja-Mahamakani and shows like Sundowner, Late Date, Je Huu Ni Ungwana, Zilizopendwa, among others.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is not easy to keep a brand going for this long – like the KBC management has done – especially in such a competitive media space. Undeniably, it has taken veritable effort, sheer commitment, and unfaltering determination to keep KBC on air for so many years, and further grow the brand to include 3 TV stations and 21 radio stations, broadcasting in different languages.

For this reason, I would like us to appreciate KBC for their exemplary job in ensuring the brand remains competitive in Kenya and beyond, and for their pivotal role in promoting sports and culture through their programming. The evidence of this memorable legacy lives in the diverse heritage that lies within their archives.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
As a government, we have put in place policies and implemented overarching programmes aimed at promoting our media and film industries, creating jobs and improving the livelihoods for our talented men and women from across the spectrum. We have done this in full understanding of the immense responsibility that Kenyans have placed on our shoulders to ensure the development, promotion, preservation and dissemination of Kenya’s culture, the arts, and heritage.
I would like to sincerely thank the President, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, for his support in growing this sector and commitment in promoting talents and honouring our legends. The gesture extended by His Excellency to fete several legends during this year’s Mashujaa Day, among them the world’s fastest marathoner Eliud Kipchoge, and media personalities Sammy Lui, Ali Salim Manga and Leonard Mambo Mbotela (who is one of the legends we are here to celebrate) is a clear attestation that he holds our legends in very high esteem.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
One of our own living legends, Eliud Kipchoge said, and I quote, “In any profession, you should think positively.

That’s the driver of your mind. If your mind is really positive, then you are on the right track. Pleasure in what you’re doing puts perfection in your work.” Looking at the amount of work that Eliud Kipchoge put in to achieve his legendary status, it is evident that you need more than just talent to achieve greatness – you need to be zealous, selfless, committed and disciplined.

The story of Eliud Kipchoge resonates with each and every one of the legends we are celebrating here today. It is a story of sweat, blood and tears; a story of absolute commitment and grit – the ability to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going even if with a stagger – at a time when everyone around you is giving up and falling off in the race. That unending, fighter spirit, is what we are here to celebrate.

As the public, we only get to notice the illustrious careers of these icons and become accustomed to their picture-perfect faces on TV, or their reverberating voices on radio, or splash photos in the newspapers – but if you speak to each and every one of them at a personal level, you will realise that their journey to this point has not been easy. It is because of this – their ability to wither the storm and make it out refined as gold – that we honour them today. Thank you, Leonard, thank you Elizabeth for setting the pace and showing younger generations the way! We greatly appreciate your contribution and commitment to growing the media industry.

Let’s appreciate them with a round of applause!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I conclude, I would like us, as individuals, and as a country to emulate initiatives such as the Living Legends Campaign and honour our legends when they are alive. Let us shower them with praises when they can still hear us, let us give them support when they are still receptive, and let us honour them in every way we can.

For this reason, we are in the final stages of setting up the Heroes and Heroines Council at the Ministry to ensure that we stay engaged in the lives of the great people who have enriched our patriotism and secured our admirable global standing. As a Ministry, we promise to stand with our legends and support them in their endeavours, even as they nurture new talents to carry on with their legacies.

Thank You all very much and May God Bless You.

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