On Wednesday, November 1, King Charles III paid tribute to the brave Kenyan soldiers who fought alongside the British in World War II.
Oldest person alive? King honours 117-year-old Kenyan [Video]
King Charles III honours 117-year-old Samweli Nthigai Mburia, a WWII veteran
The monarch joined both British military officers and Kenyan Defence Forces official in an act of remembrance, marking a significant moment in honoring the sacrifices made by these veterans.
A highlight of the visit was the awarding of replacement medals to deserving veterans, symbolizing a restoration of recognition for their wartime service.
Among the honored was Corporal Samweli Nthigai Mburia, who born in 1906, making him an astounding 117 years old.
Cpl. Mburia served in the army from 1939 to 1946, with deployments in Abysenia, Egypt, and Burma.
His dedication and valor during this period were acknowledged by King Charles III, who re-presented Cpl. Mburia with his World War II medals.
Interestingly, these medals had been disposed of by the veteran during Kenya's Mau Mau Uprising (1952 – 1960), when many Kenyan army veterans feared being labeled as colonial sympathizers.
In a heartfelt moment, King Charles III expressed admiration for Cpl. Mburia, stating, "You're amazing. You set us a great example. You must have been living on wild locusts and honey."
Cpl. Mburia, through his 54-year-old daughter, Idah Kagweni, expressed profound joy and pride, stating, "I am so happy and proud to be receiving my medals from the King."
King Charles III's speech at State House banquet
On Tuesday evening October 31, King Charles III attended a State Banquet hosted by President William Ruto.
The King's speech expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and highlighted the special connection between the United Kingdom and Kenya.
He recalled the visits of his late parents, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, to Kenya and shared personal anecdotes, including his son's proposal to his wife near Mount Kenya.
A notable part of the speech was the King's apology for the colonial injustices committed against Kenyans during their fight for independence.
He acknowledged the abhorrent acts of violence and expressed deep regret, emphasizing the need for an honest and open dialogue about the past.
"In coming back to Kenya, it matters greatly to me that I should deepen my own understanding of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected. None of this can change the past. But by addressing our history with honesty and openness, we can, perhaps, demonstrate the strength of our friendship today," King Charles III stated.
The King praised Kenya's efforts in addressing modern challenges, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, commending the country's leadership in hosting the Africa Climate Summit.
He highlighted the shared values and partnerships between the two nations, emphasizing the importance of working together for a sustainable and secure future.
The royal visit not only celebrated the strong ties between the United Kingdom and Kenya but also marked a significant step towards reconciliation and understanding of a complex historical relationship.
The King proposed a toast to President Ruto and the people of Kenya, echoing the sentiment of unity expressed in the national anthem.
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