Ol Pejeta Conservancy to Host the Next Match of Maasai Cricket Warriors
Maasai Tribesman Play Cricket to Raise Awareness about HIV/AIDS, Rhino & Elephant Conservation
(Nanyuki, Kenya). Imagine a cricketer who is a semi-nomadic cattle herder living amongst the wild animals of Africa. Imagine him who wears layers of beads; who sets fire on the field with his bright red clothes and flying braided hair; he who gives war cries while throwing or hitting a ball is actually a crusader from peace. Imagine him – a Maasai tribesman – playing a T20 match. Unbelievable ? Then you ought to meet the Maasai Cricket Warriors.
Maasai Warriors from the Laikipia region in Kenya have exchanged their spears for cricket bats and they are using cricket as a vehicle to empower youth and to target social problems in order to bring about positive change in their communities.
The Maasai Cricket Warriors who will be fully clad in traditional attire will be taking on the Ambassadors of Cricket from India in a T20 cricket match, which will be played in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy on Thursday, 6th June.
During the cricket match children from nearby local schools who play cricket will have the opportunity to watch their first live cricket match while at the same time participating in HIV/AIDS Awareness and Rhino and Elephant Conservation activities. “We are extremely proud to support this initiative,” said Richard Vigne, Ol Pejeta’s CEO. “The Maasai Cricket Warriors are a perfect example of how sports can be a conduit for raising awareness amongst communities, particularly children.”
In addition to the Maasai Cricket Warriors being avid cricket enthusiasts with abundant talent they are also role models in their communities where they are actively campaigning against retrogressive and harmful cultural practices such as FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) and early childhood marriages and fighting for the rights of women in order to eradicate discrimination against women in Maasailand.
Through the ethics and principles of cricket the warriors learn to respect one another and to foster peace and unity through the spirit of sportsmanship, while at the same time promoting healthier lifestyles and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS Awareness amongst youth.
The Maasai Cricket Warriors are now engaged in the production of a documentary film called ”Warriors” which highlights how the team are using cricket and the unity of sport to battle HIV and fight for women’s rights. The ‘Cricket Warriors’ feel education and change is the only way to secure the health of the community, provide equality to their society, and as a result protect their future. But this has been the Maasai way of life since the founder families, and the elders fear changing these traditions will herald the end of the Maasai. The struggle between identity, heritage, and development is something that resonates across the globe – even in the game of cricket itself.
The Maasai Cricket Warriors have also received an invitation to compete in the Last Man Stands World Championships, which is taking place in London, United Kingdom from the 26th August – 4th September 2013. This is a global championship event for amateur cricket teams with over 40 competing teams from across the world. Their biggest challenge now lies in the sourcing and securing funds to cover the expenses to make the team’s trip to the world championships a reality.
Maasai Cricket Warriors is a group of Maasai Warriors from the Laikipia region in Kenya who have exchanged their spears for cricket bats and they are using cricket as a vehicle to empower youth and to target social problems in order to bring about positive change in their communities. Their mission is to empower the youth in the Maasai communities of Kenya through cricket development, while enhancing their participation in community development, allowing them to become healthy, productive and well adjusted members of society. Visit Maasai Cricket Warriors
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy occupies approximately 360 square kilometers (90,000 acres) of African savannah within the Laikipia District of Kenya and incorporates the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Laikipia carries large and growing wildlife populations and is home to almost 50% of Kenya’s Black Rhino population. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprise for reinvestment in conservation and community development. Visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Wild Navigator would like to thank Aliya Bauer (Volunteer Coach & Co-ordinator The Maasai Cricket Warriors) in sending all information & pictures (The Maasai Cricket Warriors Facebook Page).