James Ndei, a man from Gitunduti village in Mathira, Nyeri County, decided to embark on a 150km journey in honour of his grandparents’ wishes. The first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, had gifted his grandparents, Shadrack Gathuni and Deborah Mumbi, with a pith helmet in order for them to join in the support for the struggle of Kenya’s independence.
He explained that Kenyatta was a regular visitor to their home and even spent regular nights with their grandparent. They otherwise did not fulfill Kenyatta’s wishes hence Ndei decided to return the gift.
“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 became 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.” said Ndei.