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Koitalel Arap Samoei honoured

It was all pomp and colour as thousands of Kenyans from all walks of life trooped to Koitalel Samoei Mausoleum in Nandi Hills town to commemorate the death of Nandi legendary leader Koitalel Arap Samoei who was killed by the British colonial Government.

Some of the artifacts from Koitalel shrine being displayed during the commemoration to mark 116 years since the killing of Nandi legend Koitalel Arap Samoei in Nandi Hills.. Photo by Ruth Mainye

The event started with the laying of wreaths at the graveyard, prayers and entertainment followed by display of Koitalel’s leadership batons, regalia and other community artifacts kept in his shrine.

The occasion was graced by various leaders among them Chairman of the North Rift Economic Bloc Governor Jackson Mandago, Nandi Governor Stephen Sang, Soy Member of Parliament Caleb Kositany, elders from Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, among others.

Speaking during the celebrations to mark 116 years since the killing of the hero, the leaders renewed calls for justice for communities who were displaced from their ancestral land by the colonial government. They called upon the national government to address the historical injustices meted out on the Talai clan and follow up a pending petition for compensation by the British Government.

Koitalel who has been immortalised as a national hero and legendary leader among the Nandi community was killed on Thursday, October 19, 1905 during a peace truce after leading a rebellion against colonial invasion on Nandi land. He was the fourth and last-born son of Kipnyole Arap Turgat, a great Nandi prophet.

Mandago who is also the Uasin Gishu Governor said, “If we truly want to progress as one Kenya and solve all the historical injustices, this is the time. Let’s begin sorting out the mess immediately and compensate the affected communities.”

MP Kositany regretted that after so many years since independence, the people of Talai community have never been compensated.

The Chairman of Koitalel Samoei Memorial Anniversary, a fourth descendant of the legend said as a community, they were tortured, forcefully evicted from their land, killed and lost their properties thus they should be compensated just like the Mau Mau people.

By Linet Wafula

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