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COVID-19 Disrupts the Masaai Way of Life

Kenya’s famous Masaai warriors are renowned for rituals and customs which they keep to this day. Fears over the pandemic has forced them to cancel their semi-nomadic lifestyle and all the traditional celebrations. David Nina, a Maasai moran (youth) leader recounts how past diseases ravaged the community and fears they have over the current pandemic. The Maasai revere their history and their culture, passing down stories and tales of previous lives which revolves like a precious heirloom from one generation to the next. Letaari Salaash, a village elder speaks of the challenges, “The Maasai are known for gathering in different homesteads for different social reasons, but now it is a challenge. We cannot go to anybody’s homestead anymore. The disease has forced people to stay at home with their own children.” The Maasai are being hit economically as the traditional markets where they trade their cattle are suspended.