By Kipkemoi Araap Korir – Mombilen

This man of Nyongi Ageset was a hero as they come. Jomo Kenyatta looked for him to clad him with a Sambut on independence day. He did the same for Vice president Moi did before ascending to office. He was detained for 42 years, yet very few know of his story.

He was the Son of Koitalel Araap Samoei And Kenyan longest serving political prisoner detained from 1923-1963.

The son of Koitalel was detained in 1923 as he planned the ‘Saget Ap Eito’ ceremony ( Ageset Handover).

Barsirian arap Manyei (1882 – 10 April 1974) is the last widely recognized Nandi Orkoiyot and Kenya’s longest serving political detainee ( 42 years).

Barsirian was born to Koitalel arap Samoei in 1882 in Samitui, part of present Nandi County . He was the second born son of Koitalel’s second wife, Taparchok chepo Chebwai. Barsirian was initiated into the Nyongi age-set.

Barsirian’s father, Koitalel Araap Samoei, was assassinated on the 19th October 1905. The colonial administration subsequently set about banishing, detaining or killing his brothers and

Kipeles was installed as Nandi Orkoiyot by
the protectorate administration following the ‘Muhoroni Conference’ in 1909 though he would die shortly after in July, 1912.

Following Kipeles death, the Nandi convinced the protectorate administration to appoint Lelimo Araap Samoei as heir to his father’s office.

Barsirian arap Manyei took over the office of Orkoiyot in 1919. A number of factors taking place in the early 1920s led to what has come to be termed the Nandi Protest or Uprisings of 1923. It was the first expression of organized resistance by the Nandi since the wars of 1895-1906 .

A number of factors contributed to the unrest, chief among them; the land alienation of 1920 and a steep increase in taxation, taxation tripled between 1909 and 1920 and because of a change in collection date, two taxes were collected in 1921.

Courtesy Kipsigis Heritage

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