SOCIETY

Inside the Maasai rite of passage in Kajiado

More than 300,000 local and foreign guests were expected at the occasion

In Summary

• President Uhuru Kenyatta donated Sh4 million for the cultural ceremonies

• Each of the initiates donated one bull and an extra Sh5,000 in cash to boot

Last week, more than 15,000 men from the Ilpaanu and Ilaitete age-sets from the Matapato community in Kajiado graduated to elderhood.

The rite of passage, called Olng’esherr (meat-eating party), takes place every after 15 years.  

The ceremony ran for five days from Wednesday to Sunday at the slopes of Maparasha Hills, facing the east of Mailua Group Ranch. More than 300,000 guests drawn locally and from Tanzania were expected in the occasion.

Each of the 15,000 members of the two age-sets contributed one bull to be slaughtered on that occasion, with each adding a cash donation of Sh 5,000.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, through Governor Joseph ole Lenku, donated Sh2 million for the occasion and another Sh2 million for a similar occasion in Imbirrikani.

Meat roasting started as early as 3am. The young men and guests started feeding at 8am
Meat roasting started as early as 3am. The young men and guests started feeding at 8am
Image: KURGAT MARIDANY