Despite the early morning drizzle, hundreds of excited participants turned up for the commemoration of the 2014 International Day of Persons with Disability in Kenya. This year’s celebrations took place at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre
(KICC) at the heart of the capital city, Nairobi. This year’s commemoration provided an opportunity to amplify awareness of disability as a cross-cutting development issue. The theme “Sustainable Development: The promise of technology” was timely because it marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) of 2015 and the launch of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the new development framework post 2015. The global theme was domesticated to adopt a more local context aptly declaring “Sustainable Development: Beyond the limits” as the national rallying call for development practise.
The day started off with entertainment by various persons with disabilities, among them Dennis Karanja aka Denno- A popular artist with visual impairment, with his song ‘Naona Mbali’ as well as the renowned long time artist, Mary Atieno, who has consistently contributed to the Kenyan music industry as a visually impaired artist.Other performers included: Daisy, the only girl who performed a song, Kipruto, Paul Mugambi ‘Mpofu number One’ and James Mugi. A short skit by members of the association of people with dwarfism in Kenya also formed part of the programme.
Speeches delivered by various stakeholders in the disability arena had one key message that resonated across, that of inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of development.