Baringo Senator Gideon Moi was yesterday crowned the Kalenjin kingpin by Talai elders.
The elders handed him the community’s instruments of power and gave him mandate to seek the presidency in the early morning ceremony.
The coronation happened 20 days after a group of hired youth blocked the senator from accessing Kapsisiywo for an installation ceremony on January 2.
Talai Council of Elders chairman Christopher Koyogi oversaw the event that was also witnessed by representatives from the Nandi, Kipsigis, Tugen, Sabaot, Keiyo and Marakwet communities.
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During the three-hour ceremony, the elders anointed Gideon with oil and crowned him with traditional headgear made of lion skin. The oil was also poured on his hands and legs and allowed to flow freely.
A white ram without blemish was slaughtered and elders did a divinatory intestine-reading that was received with claps and cheers.
“Gideon, it’s your time; you are ripe to lead. Your time has come,” said one of the elders.
The senator joined the elders in making a small fire. Special dry leaves prepared by the elders were handed out and placed on the fire. A wisp of white smoke rose to the heavens to the elders’ delight.
Milk and honey were used during the ceremony; the milk sprinkled on the instruments of power before they were handed to Gideon.
After the coronation, the senator fed the elders with honey as a symbol he would remember them when he gets the top seat. The raw honey was scooped using a traditional spoon and the elders ate to their satisfaction.
With the coronation over, the elders said Gideon was ready for the task ahead of him, adding that he has the qualities of a leader.
Pillar of the community
“We have coronated him today and made him the community spokesperson. We need to hear his voice,” Koyogi said. “Our journey will not go in vain. You have the voice, and today you will be the community pillar. Take care of this country,” he told Gideon.
Joel Rono, another elder, said they had faith in the senator. For years, he added, they had been holding meetings to discuss who was fit to be crowned Kalenjin elder.
Rono also said the coronation was not political. “This our tradition. Gideon is our friend just like someone else is a friend to someone. The senator is, however, special to us; after a series of meetings our hearts settled on him.”
Rono said they were happy to have fulfilled their mission and finally gotten someone they could trust to steer the community forward and push to have their issues addressed.
“An apple does not fall far from the tree and just like the late retired President Daniel arap Moi, Gideon has what it takes. Gideon has proved he can and we wish him well. Respect all and be humble. God will lead this journey,” he said.
Rono noted that Kenya is rich but a few people were working day and night to enrich themselves instead of coming up with policies to benefit its citizens.
Servant of the people
“Roar like a lion; you have our blessings and what we did has never been witnessed. Lead this country,” he said. The elders urged the senator not to insult anyone in his political journey and listen to elders.
Gideon, who addressed the elders in his full regalia of an elder and community spokesperson, said the journey had just began.
He said he was a servant of the people tasked and trusted to lead the society. His position, he said, belonged to the people and he would serve them.
“This leadership is not mine but belongs to the people of Kenya. Today, you have given me the powers to serve. I want to see our people happy, as it is my duty as your leader to see you happy,” Gideon said.
He noted that their problem started when some people entrusted with leadership in the community lied to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“Some people met President Uhuru and told them Rift Valley is ours. They lied to the President. They said all was well and will sort the problems facing the people. Things have changed and the President has realised we are not okay and are suffering. We have a chance to rectify where we went wrong,” said Gideon.