Nandi residents fete Koitalel arap Samoei on Mashujaa Day
Residents of Nandi County on Tuesday gathered to mark 110 years since Nandi hero, Koitalel arap Samoei, was brutally killed by the British.
The event organised by members of the Koitalel arap Samoei lineage commemorated the gruesome killing of the famous leader in 1905 by the British colonial government.
The celebrations were done in style outside the Kotalel mausoleum, with traditional singers and dancers entertaining attendees.
Sports and Culture Cabinet Secretary Dr Hassan Wario, who attended the celebration, hailed Koitalel as the greatest hero who led the Nandi in a fierce resistance against the British.
Speaking at the event, Nandi County Senator Stephen Sang said Mashujaa Day would not be complete without honoring the great leader.
“The history of this country is distorted because much focus has been given to heroes who fought for independence at the expense of those who resisted the establishment of colonial rule in Kenya,” he said.
He urged the government to remember the suffering of the Nandi people during Koitalel’s time, even as they remember the Mau Mau veterans who fought for Kenya’s independence.
Nandi County Governor Cleophas Lagat stated that the county government would petition the national government to unveil a monument for the hero as it has done for others.
A mausoleum has been built in remembrance of the Kalenjin hero and a university is soon to be established in Nandi County in his honour.
Koitalel’s lineage, led by Kipchoge arap Chomu, insisted that the British Government should compensate them for the suffering they endured at the hands of their compatriots, including rape, murder and loss of property.
Chomu further noted that the Nandi community continued to suffer at the hands of the colonialists, even having the longest serving political detainee, Mr Barsian arap Manyei, who was detained for 40years (1922-1967).
Nandi leaders during the event vowed to sue the British Government for the suffering meted out to the community and the Koitalel arap Samoei lineage before and during Kenya’s colonisation.
Meanwhile, President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday led Kenyans in marking the 52nd Mashujaa Day in an event that was held at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi.
According to Article 9 of the Constitution, Mashujaa Day is celebrated on the 20th of October every year.
By Reuben Wanyama
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