Thursday 16 May 2024

Koitalel Arap Samoei (The Brave Nandi Leader) Legend Orkoiyot


In 1860, Koitalel Arap Samoei was born to Kimnyole Arap Turukat at Samitu in Aldai. He was the lastborn of four sons and belonged to the Kaplechach age set. He was closest to his father because he could understand prophetic signs compared to his brothers.Kimnyole predicted his death and summoned his four sons. He asked them to consult traditional brews in a pot. Upon gazing into the pot, Samoei drew his sword in protest as he had perceived the coming of the Europeans.


Sensing danger in his sons' bravery and out of concern for his safety, Kimnyole sent Koitalel's three siblings to live among the Kipsigis. At the same time, Koitalel went to live among the Tugen.After Kimnyole's death, a section of Nandi people sent for Koitalel, who had already taken refuge among the Keiyo. His brother Kipchomber Arap Koilege also claimed Nandi's leadership, leading to a succession dispute. Groups formed around the two aspirants, and minor skirmishes took place between their supporters, but this did not extend to full-scale war. The dispute ended with the defeat of Kipchomber Arap Koilege in 1895, after which he fled to the Kipsigis with his supporters, becoming the first Kipsigis Orgoiyot.Koitalel was appointed the successor to his father as the Orkoryot (Prophet and Supreme Chief) of the Nandi people. The Orkoiyot was traditionally from the Talai Clan of the Nandi people, who were believed to have been picked by God, Asis, to deliver messages to the people.


Koitalel prophesized about a black snake passing through the land of Nandi spitting fire. His prophecy came to pass with the building of the Kenya Uganda railway by the British through Nandi land. The black snake symbolizes the railway line.As the British approached the Nandi area, he rallied his men, and fighting broke out, starting the long resistance by the Nandi against the British.


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