Nandi elders conduct traditional prayers for late Queen Elizabeth II, call for return of Koitalel’s h**d

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 15 Sep, 2022 17:36 | 2 mins read
Nandi community member signs condelence book at Soy Club and Resort in Nandi County. PHOTO/James Gitaka

A section of the Kalenjin Elders from the Nandi sub-tribe has conducted traditional prayers to mourn the departed Queen Elizabeth 11 who until her death on September 8 was the queen of the United Kingdom and other 32 commonwealth countries since 1952.

The elders, who sang sorrowful Kalenjin traditional songs before conducting their traditional prayers, reminisced on the Queen's maiden visit to the western part of Kenya in 1952 aboard a white train that made its first stop at Moi’s Bridge Railway station.

The Queen met the white settlers and community members within the region, memories that have for a long time been cherished by the Nandi community members on the border between Uasin Gishu and Kakamega counties.

“The queen spent her two nights at the Soy Club and Resort back in 1952 the place we are at the moment. She slept in room number 20. It was memorable since she engaged some of the grandparents before heading back to Sagana Nairobi where she received the news of the passing away of her father King George V1,” Hassan arap Koskei, the proprietor of the Eldoret Soy Club and Resort, said.

The community has preserved a 1948 wedding picture of the late Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh and its part of the souvenir that has remained in the room she spent her two nights.

“This picture was bought by our mother at Ksh3 then. We have preserved it for 89 years and she was the only one at the time who could buy the picture on behalf of the community who at the time were not privileged. Many of our people had been serving the white settlers for 70 years before our country gained independence," recalled Leah Chemutai a 70-year-old woman.

Elders want Samoei's head returned to Kenya

Nandi community member elders sing at Soy Club and Resort in Nandi County. PHOTO/James Gitaka

The traditional Nandi dancers, who conducted the native prayers outside the room where the queen slept, however, are calling upon the new King Charles III to help them repatriate the head of Nandi Orkoiyot Koitalel arap Samoei who was chief of the Nandi community and who led the people in resisting the British colonial rule before he was assassinated in October 1905 at Nandi Hills.

“The queen was a brave person. We celebrate her bravery but we ask the new King Charles III to bring back the head of our Orkoiyot in order for the Nandi community to give her a befitting sendoff,” Ezekiel Maritim, a community member, said

The quest by the Nandi community to have their white highlands reverted back to them, especially within Nandi County and the repatriation of the head of Koitalel Samoei is part of the atrocities that many African countries have associated with the rule of the late Queen.

The late Queen Elizabeth will be laid to rest Monday, September 19 at Windsor Castle next to her late husband Prince Phillip in St George’s Chapel, United Kingdom.

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