On the 19th of October, Nandi County government together with residents thronged Nandi Hills town for Koitaleel Arap Samoei commemoration event at the mausoleum 24 hours to a national Mashujaa Day.
Nandi Hills, home to the county’s greenery, undulating hills and scenic tea zones is a birth place and graveyard to the late Kalenjin legend Koitaleel Arap Samoei whom president Uhuru Kenyatta recognized in his Heroes Day speech in Machakos’ Kenyatta Stadium. County government held another event a day later in Kapsabet to celebrate Mashujaa Day and Koitaleel Arap Samoei was coined as a home’s hero.
Young, old men and women sang folk songs in praise of his bravery and reminded Nandi Kaburwo a unity of purpose seen in his successful eleven years of resistance to colonial rule and railway construction until his death in 1905, killed by british colonel Richard Meinertzhagen along with his companions who invited him under the guise of negotiating a truce, but was instead shot dead.
His son, Barsirian Arap Manyei born 1882, was the Nandi leader from 1919 until 1922 when he was detained by the British. Barsirian was not released until 1964, a year Kenya gained independence, making him the longest-serving political prisoner in Kenyan history. Even during his detention Nandi people were organized in Kokwatinweek and Bororioshek that had a defined hierarchy of leadership, remained strong and continued guarding their territories, domestic animals and farm plantations that signified their wealth.
Today, Koitaleel Samoei University College is in Nandi Hills. This institution will serve Kenyans in imparting professional and technical skills and act as symbol of heroic honour to county and Kenya at large.
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Additional sources: Wikipedia