FORGOTTEN HERO

World War II, Mau Mau soldier lives miserable life as country marks Mashujaa Day

Mzee Richard Pilisi aged 102 years from Kibisi village in Tongaren constituency is among the few lucky soldiers still alive.

In Summary

• On  Sunday, he narrated to the Star how he was picked from the village by colonialists to be a court prosecutor and an interpreter in Cheranganyi town due to his ability to read and write.

•After returning home, he was recruited to fight for independence with the Mau Mau soldiers and other freedom fighters.

 

Mzee Richard Pilisi aged 102 years from Kibisi village in Tongaren constituency; Bungoma North speaks to the star in his home on Sunday
Mzee Richard Pilisi aged 102 years from Kibisi village in Tongaren constituency; Bungoma North speaks to the star in his home on Sunday
Image: BRIAN OJAMAA
Richard Pilsi and King George the six
Richard Pilsi and King George the six
Image: BRIAN OJAMAA

 As the country marked and celebrated Mashujaa Day on Sunday, Bungoma county hosts a forgotten veteran soldier.

Mzee Richard Pilisi aged 102 years from Kibisi village in Tongaren constituency is among the few lucky soldiers still alive.

Mzee Richard a father of 24 and over 50 grandchildren who fought in the Second World War lives a quiet, poor and miserable life in the sleepy village of Kibisi on the shores of River Nzoia.

On  Sunday, he narrated to the Star how he was picked from the village by colonialists to be a court prosecutor and an interpreter in Cheranganyi town due to his ability to read and write.

“I was among the few lucky Africans who were enlightened and could speak English. I was picked by the colonialists to help in interpreting court cases in 1930s,” he said. He said that after serving as a court prosecutor and interpreter he was picked together with others to join in the Second World War in 1941, where he recalls many of his brothers were killed.

He said they would also provide hard labour such as building roads, walls and bridges other than fighting.

After returning home, he was recruited to fight for independence with the Mau Mau soldiers and other freedom fighters.

He, however, says he has been forgotten even after being a tailor for Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi.