Photo: Jeff Angote
Jubilee Party supporters at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium.
By Judie Kaberia
Nairobi — It was clearly a day that thousands of Jubilee supporters had planned to attend in their spirit and mind.
Some of them arrived at the Kasarani National Stadium as early as 5am to wait for the historic launch of the bigger Jubilee Party (JP) which absorbed 12 of the parties that were affiliated to the Jubilee Coalition.
“I came here at 5am because today is a big day for us. We are now united and it’s unity that has attracted me to join this JP team,” a JP supporter from Western Kenya said.
“I cannot stay at home. The joy around here today is not what I can stay away from. We left Meru yesterday night so that we could be here at 6am,” another supporter explained.
It was an event that attracted supporters from all parts of the country – from the North, East, South and West – supporters thronged the Kasarani National Stadium to celebrate the birth of JP.
They all wanted to be part of an event that will mark Jubilee’s history of launching a party considered to have a national outlook and one that its supporters have termed as the engine that will shape Kenya’s politics after it absorbed the 12 parties considered as tribal or ‘village’ parties.
Kasarani was painted red. Supporters came in full gear of clothes, caps, flags and anything else they could use to show solidarity and their pride for their new party in red colors.
“Red is a rich color.” A supporter dressed in red from head to toe explained. “I am here to show my solidarity with JP because I believe in it. When our President and his deputy in 2013 said they believe, they meant it. We also believed in them and that is why today we are here to celebrate this unity,” Rufus Wambilianga from Western Kenya recounted.
For the better part of Saturday, Kasarani was filled up with songs, dance, ululation and celebration that easily flowed because of the historical event that had brought political parties from diverse regions together.
The list of entertainment from the likes of Capital FM’s and Kenya’s top DJ Joe Mfalme, DJ Moe, top secular and gospel musicians and comedians graced the occasion to the amusement of supporters who unleashed laughter, cheers and claps making them a great audience to the entertainers.
As soon as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Deputy President William Ruto’s entourage entered Kasarani, the excitement was real.
Crowds of people that had filled the stadium to capacity shouted and clapped to welcome them as other supporters escorted their motorcade to the dais which was decorated in the Jubilee party colours and filled to the brim by top politicians.
First Lady Margaret Kenyatta who had the least idea of popular musician Bahati’s surprise could not turn down the acknowledgment of honour when she was invited to the stage when he sung his song ‘Mama.’
Sparks of fireworks rent the air followed by colored smoke cannons to celebrate the big political milestone of launching a united Jubilee Party which had received about 41 defectors from other parties.