Kenya's 'epic' national anthem tune moves world at Rio games

Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge

The Kenya national anthem tune grabbed the world’s attention when it was played for

long distance runner Eliud Kichoge in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


clinched the gold medal in the men’s full marathon

on Sunday.

Hours later, posts by socialmedia users noted one thing - that the tune composed by

was "epic"

Twitter users termed it the world's best, one saying it could be the background tune for popular series Game of Thrones.

Others said it was "low-key beautiful", moved them to tears, and that it sounded like it had flown

right from a Beethoven or Mozart creation, or an infusion of the two.

Some of the reactions from Twitter users /COURTESY

The national anthem was composed in 1963 in preparation for Kenya's Independence celebrations.

The task began in May, with the formation of an advisory committee that comprised George Senoga-Zake, Richard Koskey, Graham Hyslop, Thomas Kalume, Peter Kibukosya and Samuel Waruhiu.

The anthem was to have three verses be in both English and Kiswahili. The aim was to stir up a sense of patriotism.

With the task defined, an anthem commission, whose members were Senoga-Zake, Kibukosya, Washington Omondi, Hyslop and Kalume was formed.

The team was tasked with to come up with several anthems for consideration. It presented its work to the advisory committee after several weeks.

Many traditional tunes were considered but three were shortlisted and one from a Pokomo lullaby selected.

The commission then came up with the English and Kiswahili words and agreed that

that the opening stanza be prayerful.

The verses were then presented to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who first served as Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers in August 1963.

The anthem was sung in unison, in Kiswahili and English, by a double quartet with the police band playing.

The national anthem aside,


achieved its most successful Olympics despite doping and organisational challenges that nearly derailed its appearance in Rio de Janeiro.

With six golds, six silvers and one bronze medal,


finished second only to United States in the athletics table, making South America's first Olympic Games its best outing so far.

David Rudisha obliterated his rivals in the 800 metres final to become the first man since 1964 to retain his Olympic title over the distance.

Jemima Sumgong won gold in the women's marathon; Vivian Cheruiyot won the women's 5,000m; Faith Kipyegon won the women's 1,500m and Conseslus Kipruto won the men's steeplechase.

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