Special thanks to Joseph Mutugi, guardian of the italian cemetery in Kenya

Sacrario militare Nyeri_Kenia_Duca d'Aosta (6)There is a place in the middle of Kenya, close to one of the highest mountain of Africa that seems the Tuscany. Apparently, this place has no connection with our country, because we always associate Kenya with the sunny beaches of Malindi. But in this place there is a piece of the forgotten Italian history. I guess that the 90% of the Italian, (including me some weeks), don’t know the history of the Italian prisoners of the WW2 in Nyeri. 150 km far from Nairobi there is an Italian cemetery where rest almost 700 Italians with the heroic Duchy of Aosta.

The guardian of the memorial is Joseph Mutugi, a very kind guy, that manage plentifully the Church and the gardens around. When I discover that place on the web, as seen I was very close to that place, I decide to try to go there and to left a tribute to these unlucky Italians. When I reach the Church the gate was closed and so dejected, I thought that I couldn’t leave inside my small tribute, but after a few arrived Joseph with a big smile that welcomed us inside the memorial. He was very kind and he let us seeing the entire memorial, so I had the opportunity to leave a small Italian flag inside the Church. My mission was done! Joseph was very happy and he told me that we are always welcome here, and so I was so grateful to him for the management of the Memorial and for the visit. He told me that for him it was a very happy day to see us and this was very touching for me. He also ask me to tell about this place when I would be in Italy. I promise this to him, in this is what I am trying to do in memory of our forgotten soldiers.

Kenia_Nyeri (1)When I came back, thanks to my friend Joel Gerard, I discover Italia Coloniale on Facebook and I send some pictures to Alberto Alpozzi the manager. After the publication of the photos on Facebook, contacts me a guy, Mario Previtera, that ask me if I could help him to prove the presence of his relative in the cemetery. I suddenly write to Joseph and in few he answered me with the pictures of the tomb of Soldier Salvatore Previtera. It was a joy for Mario, the nephew of this soldier, and this warms my heart very much, because after 75 years we contribute to close a piece of story of an Italian family. For this reason, I’m very thankful to Joseph for the help and for giving to us many emotions in these last days. Thank you Joseph for your time and for what you do for our country! Asanti Sana!

Giuseppe Cutano

 

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