He was the youngest of four sons, who showed prophetic powers at a young age.
He was also a true leader, a military genius and one of Kenya’s first freedom fighters.
Koitalel, led an eleven year resistance movement against the building of the Uganda Railway through the Nandi area.
Richard Meinertzhagen was the military representative of the East Africa Protectorate, which was the successor of the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC). He was sent to deal with the threat posed by the Nandi. The Nandi had raided many caravans carrying supplies for the Uganda railway.
However his loyalty of fighting for the Nandi community led one of them to betray him to the colonial government.
Meinertzhagen had invited Koitalel to negotiate a truce using that ruse to lure the Nandi leader for the fatal ambush.
On October 19, 1905 he was shot dead by British Col. Richard Meinertzhagen.
Going down Kenya's history, this was the longest and strongest resistance the British government experienced in Kenya.
Nandi County legal officer, George Tarus, has demanded that the British government returns the head of Nandi political and spiritual leader Koitalel arap Samoei.
The death of Koitalel Samoei weakened the Nandi resistance and a few years later, the colonialists penetrated and settled in the Nandi. It is believed that the whites made away with Koitalel Arap Samoei’s head.
The Nandi leader’s symbolic grave was built at the Nandi Hills Town, where his headless body was found.
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