Chelagat Mutai – A life in struggle

On this, and every Saba Saba Day, we honour the memory of a truly heroic Kenyan who, though she never participated in any Saba Saba event, left this world on this sacred day in the year 2013; having given her young life to fighting for the goals that we are still marching for today. At 24 years of age, Chelegat Mutai beat 11 other contestants in this highly patriarchal society, to become the first Nandi and Kalenjin woman MP. Her fellow travellers were known Kenyan patriots such as Jean-Marie Seroney, George Anyona, Koigi wa Wamwere, James Orengo, Mashengu wa Mwachofi and Chibule wa Tsuma among others. Jailed by the Jomo Kenyatta regime and driven into exile in Tanzania by the Moi-KANU dictatorship; Chelagat Mutai’s life symbolises the motto: Nation over Ethnicity. It is a lesson we Kenyans badly need to learn and practise. In her commitment to justice for the wananchi, Chelagat Mutai   became an enemy of the state and paid a heavy price for it. Illness, hardship and lack of any appreciation/recognition tormented her for almost two decades before her death on Saba Saba Day, 2013.