Elijah Masinde

Elijah Masinde

Elijah Masinde (also spelt Elija Masinde) (1910-12 (?)—1987) was a traditional leader of the Bukusu people of western Kenya.

Early life

Born around 1910 - 1912 in Kimilili, Bungoma District , Masinde wa Nameme okwa Mwasame started out as a footballer, who captained a football team from Kimilili. He also played for Kenyan national team in the Gossage Cup [Daily Nation, June 29, 2008: [http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=5&newsid=126291 SOCCER: When Elijah Masinde sneaked from team camp ] ]

gainst Uganda in 1930. By the early 1940s, he had risen to the rank of a junior elder within his community in Kimilili area, and became increasingly anti-colonial. In 1944, he led a number of localised defiance campaigns against the colonial authorities, and was imprisoned many times as a result. At one time he was kept in Mathare Mental Hospital and in Lamu.


In his early years Masinde managed to light a fire over a Grass thatched fire and cook a meal that people ate.During his detention in Kapenguria with Jomo Kenyatta he managed to foreworn Kenyatta of an impeding assassination plot, the bullet missed Kenyatta by inches.Before Kenya gained independence, he instructed Masinde Muliro on the tin that contained Kenyan soil.

Dini Ya Musambwa

While in jail, Masinde claimed to have had a vision. In the vision Wele Khakaba(God the Provider) instructed him to tell the whiteman to quit Kenya for it is not his country] , and proclaimed that a Blackman is going to rule Kenya in the future.That whitemen are sheep of God now turned into wolves that were feasting on children of Wele(God). When he was released, he revived Musambwa(Luhya word meaning The Spirit of a people"), and gained huge followings in western Kenya, Uganda,Pokot, Turkana and even Baringo District.

Detention, old age, and death

Upon Kenya's independence, Masinde was detained by the government of Jomo Kenyatta for almost 15 years. He had been accused of fomenting religious hatred. He was released by the government of Daniel arap Moi in 1978, Moi also arrested him following his clashes with traffic policemen in Webuye and Kitale. Elija Masinde remained defiant and always questioned post independence Kenya government especially on the issue of land distribution and citizen rights. He died in 1987, a neglected freedom fighter. Before his death, Masinde pointed out to his elder son the spot where he wanted to be buried - he wanted a huge sycamore tree uprooted to make way for his grave. The family decided to bury him elsewhere, though, but were thwarted when a spot they chose for his grave turned out to be a hidden grave. They took this to be an omen and proceeded to bury him in the spot where the sycamore tree had been.

He left a widow, Sarah Nanyama Masinde. She was still alive in November 2007 and was then reportedly 105 years old. [Daily Nation, November 12, 2007: [http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynation/nmgcontententry.asp?category_id=2&newsid=110428 Masinde family supports Raila ] ]

See also

* Dini Ya Msambwa


*Makila, F. E. (1978) "An Outline History of Babukusu of Western Kenya." Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya Literature Bureau.
*Alembi, Ezekiel. (2000) Elijah Masinde: Rebel with a cause". Nairobi, Kenya: Sasa Sema Publications Ltd.

External links

* [http://www.onpedia.com/encyclopedia/Elijah-Masinde Internet Article:Elijah Masinde]

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