A Frame Analysis of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Madaraka, Mashujaa and Jamhuri Day Speeches
Almost every country in the world observes a national holiday in honour of an important event in the historical life of the nation. Notably, national holiday discourses reveal fundamental aspects of a nation and its attributes. Consequently, national holiday speeches by Presidents and other political leaders emerge as a valuable site for linguistic analysis. This paper, through the Voyant tool, a digital humanity text analysis method complemented by Fairhurst and Sarr’s framing techniques theory, presents a linguistic examination of three of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speeches in the year 2020 during three Kenyan national holidays. These national holidays (Madaraka Day, Mashujaa Day, and Jamhuri Day) are significant in Kenyan history and provide an opportunity to reflect on the social attributes of Kenyans as a people. Further, they guide the young generation about the values and messages associated with these days. These three speeches were made in the year 2020, which was characterized by the coronavirus pandemic and the year when the President was coming close to the end of his final term and was, therefore, concerned about his legacy. These two aspects (pandemic and legacy) imbued the speeches with particular qualities. The paper postulates that Uhuru Kenyatta’s speeches are a manifestation of political, economic, and constitutive frames narrated in an episodic way. Further, the narration is a rich linguistic ground for understanding the government’s agenda. The President was found to utilize different framing strategies such as metaphors, comparison, spin, and slogans in his narration”
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