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NANDI RESISTANCE (1895 – 1905)

NANDI RESISTANCE (1895 – 1905)

NANDI RESISTANCE (1895 – 1905)

Refer  to  the  resistance  that  was  waged  by  the  Nandi  people  in  Kenya  against  the  I.B.E.A.CO ( The  British  Colonial  rule).

The  Nandi  resisted  the  British  intrusion  under  their  leader  Koitalel Arap Samoei. The  title  of  the  Nandi  leader  was  called “ Orkoiyot” Traditionally, the  Nandi  were  pastoralists.

During the  19th  c  the Nandi  became  superior  as  they  managed  to  win  different  battles  with  their  neighboring  societies  such  as  the  Maasai.

The  Nandi  grew  more  powerful  as  the  Maasai  power  declined.

Therefore, during  the  advent  of  British  Colonial  rule, the  Nandi  resisted  strongly  against  the  British penetration.

They  did  not  allow  Europeans  even  to  cross  their  territory. In  1895, they  killed a  British  trader  named  West  as  he  attempted  to  pass  through  their  land.

This  awakened  the  British  to  start  fighting  the  Nandi.


The Construction of railway

The I.B.E.A.CO  started  to construct  the  railway  line  which  was  to  pass  through the  Nandi’s  land. T

his  railway  line  made  the  Nandi  to  start  resisting  because  the  railway  interfered  their  daily  activities  and  culture.

Land problem

The  construction  of  the  railway  had  impact  on the  Nandi  people. The  Nandi  were  removed  from  their  land  as  the  British  wanted  to  create  vacant  land  for  whites  settlement.

This  made  the  Nandi  not  to  continue  with  pastoral  activities  hence  resistance  against  the  British.

The Nandi resistance

The  Nandi  believed  that  they  were  superior  as  they  had  experienced  different  wars  with  their  neighbors  and  won  them.

They  believed  that  their  culture  was  superior  and  they  did  not  want  their  culture  to  be  interfered  by  anybody. This  made  them  to  resist  the  British.

Kimnyole’s prophecy

Kimnyole  was  an  Ex – Orkoiyot. During his  reign, he  had  prophesized  that  Nandi  land  would  one  day  be  ruled  by  the  foreigners.

Also  he  added  that  one  day  there  would  come  a long  and  big  snake  from Indian  Ocean  belching  smoke  and  fire.

The snake turned to be  the  railway, and  when  the  Nandi  saw  the  construction  of  the  railway  they  started  to  resist  against  the  British.

The need to protect their political freedom

Koitale Arap Samoei organized the Nandi to resist against the British in order to restore and protect their political freedom. This is due to the fact that, the Nandi did not want to under British Colonial  rule.

Although the Nandi resisted heavily the British colonial rule  for  about  10  years , but  they  were  at  last  defeated.

It was in  1905  that  the  Nandi  were  defeated  by  the  British.


The British managed to defeat them after killing their leader Koitalel Arap Samoei (Orkoiyot).

The  British  Commander, Colonel  Meinertzhagen  visited  the  Nandi  leaders  as  Orkoiyot  came  out  to  greet  his  visitors  he  was  shot  dead  together  with  other  leaders, From  that  moment, the  Nandi  were  removed  to  the  reserves


Massive loss of life

The Council  of  Elders, the  Orkoiyot  and  the  army  warriors  were  both  killed

Destruction of the Nandi properties

The  Nandi  villages  and  farms  were  set  on  fire  by  the  British. The  British  also confiscated  a lot  of  cattle  which  belonged  to  the  Nandi.

The Nandi became squatters

The  Nandi  became  squatters  on  the  white  farms. They  were  employed  as  cheap  laborers

Africans were pushed into reserves and others were left 

Those  who  were  pushed  into the  reserves, were  turned  into  squatters  and  employed  as  cheap  laborers.

Completion of the railway line

The  defeat  of  the  Nandi  made  the  British  to  continue  with  the  construction  of  the  railway  line  which  in  turn  facilitated  transportation  in  Kenya  and  Uganda  respectively.

British Colonialism

The  defeat  of  the  Nandi  made  the  British  to  colonize  the  Nandi  country. The  Nandi lost  their  sovereignty.


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