The Maasai Cricket Team are an incredible group of authentic Maasai warriors from the Laikipia region of Kenya who dedicate their time to raising awareness about social & economic challenges.
The players are aiming to be role models in their communities where they are actively campaigning against FGM (female genital mutilation), early childhood marriages, fighting for the rights of women & raise awareness about social & economic challenges.
Much of the Warriors activity is devoted to the team’s attempts to get their tribal elders to abandon the traditional practice of female genital mutilation.
The often deadly practice, which ranges from slicing off the clitoris to the mutilation and removal of the entire female genitalia, is banned in Kenya but still regularly carried out.
The combination of cricket and social activism might seem jarring to audiences used to legions of high-profile players who confine their public remarks to nothing more controversial than bland reflections on the match they’ve just played. But for Warriors skipper Sonyanga one leads naturally to the other.
“In our society, the women or the girls are treated as inferior, and it’s no good,” Sonyanga said at the premiere. “We are not saying we abandon all our good culture, only the harmful practices such as female genital mutilation.
“It is very hard to go against the elders, but cricket is giving us that courage and that confidence. We are very proud of what it means to be Maasai and that is why we play in our traditional robes.”
Their passion for positive change is shown in their dedication for their sport.
“Some guys (in the Warriors’ team) ride for four hours on a motorbike to practise every week with a cricket bag on their backs.”
An old Maasai proverb says: “The eye that leaves the village sees further.”
And for their next project, the Maasai Cricket Team, are planning to give their village even more sight by playing the South African (retired) cricket team at the Kruger National Park to raise awareness about rhino poaching.
Rhino poaching in Africa is at an all time high… Environment Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has revealed that more rhinos were killed in January to August 2015, than in the same period last year.
“By Thursday 27 August 2015, the number of rhino we lost to poachers was 749 for the whole country,” the minister said according to SAnews.
Of these deaths, 544 of the rhinos were poached in the Kruger National Park.
However, more poachers and attempted poachers are being caught.
“The total number of arrests inside the Kruger National Park was 138 for this year compared to 81 arrests for the same period last year as at 27 August 2015,” the minister said.
Poaching has decreased everywhere except the Kruger National Park.
The Maasai Warriors already have a huge international following & the awareness raised around this game will go much further than just their villages… in the hope that maybe together, we can all end Rhino Poaching.