A man from Nyeri County has embarked on a 150-kilometer walk to State House to hand over Mzee Kenyatta’s gift to his grandparents that has over the years been a source of “misery.”
James Ndei from Gitunduti village in Mathira, Nyeri County is reported to have began his journey on Wednesday evening, hoping that he meets President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Ndei wants to hand over the pith helmet given to his grandparents by Mzee Kenyatta 75 years ago.
According to him, the helmet, still used by provincial administrators in Africa, parts of Asia and the Middle East before being adopted by military officers.
He claims that Mzee Kenyatta gave the helmet to his grandparents, Shadrack Gathuni and Deborah Mumbi, in 1944 when he visited their home to drum up support for the struggle of Kenya’s independence.
Both his grandparents have since passed on, however, he noted that it was their wish to have the helmet returned to the Kenyatta family because their aspirations of Kenya’s freedom fighters were never fulfilled.
Speaking to Nation, Ndei noted: “My grandparents used to tell me Kenyatta was a regular visitor to their home and even spent several nights with them as he established the African Independent church. My grandfather was a church leader and was very close to Mzee.
However despite the fact that Kenyatta later becomes the president, there is nothing to show for that association. My grandparents died poor and I feel they were betrayed hence my decision to return the helmet.”