SERGE, KESEME, LYDIA and Agnes have been stalwarts of earlier tours - great performers and wonderful, friendly characters. They have found the pressure of touring to be difficult, however, and have decided to spend time at home with their families this year. We hope they will all return soon!
SAMUEL, like Sayianka, a farmer with a family and he is acknowledged to be a fine Maasai jumper. He has also proved to be a great singer, whistler and, like Serge before him, a brilliant animal impersonator. He has also looks out for football matches at the schools he visits, and shows some considerable skill when he joins in.
TAJEU (also known as Richard) Tajeu is the leader of the group. Born one of nine children, his father died when he was fourteen. His mother sold water and firewood in an effort to pay his school fees. In the end he had to leave school and after training as a warrior for one year, he went to help his mother drive out their cows to look for pastures. He supplemented any money they had by working as a night watchman. Realising that he was a good solo singer, he met with friends and saw the need of singing to educate their people on how to cope with poverty and hard times and to lead a more Christian life. Tajeu is married with three sons and now - a baby daughter!.
MIRIAM is the fourth child in a family of eight (born to her mother). Her father is a polygamist and has six wives and forty-two children. He was a very wealthy and respected man, but when the drought hit their land he lost much of his livestock, and could not maintain his large family. Miriam had to leave school. However, her father did allow her to marry the man of her choice and she and her husband have two boys who both go to school. Life is not easy, but Miriam and her husband have constructed a tin house that is resistant to rains and strong winds. Living conditions are very congested as they share the house with her mother-in-law and her five children. She hopes that her work with Osiligi will provide her with the funds to build a bigger house. She also knows that the efforts of the Osiligi troupe are doing much good work in providing education for girls.
SIMON - a very intelligent young man - joined the group in 2010 and is the narrator - he tells the stories behind the Maasai songs and history. He was unmarried at that time but has since acquired a wife and son and has established himself as an important member of the group. This year he will be joined by:
SAYIANKA - aged 35 and came on one of the previous tours. He replaces Keseme (and like Keseme the "Movie Star") is a great character who specialises in the fast talk and mouth music singing. He is currently teaching Jim ( the Scotland-based tour organiser) the Maasai language (with some difficulty).
SUSAN replaced Agnes in 2015 and hopes to become a nurse in Kenya using her tour earnings tosupport her studies. She passed the tour baton to HELEN, in 2017.
JOSEPH is a farmer also with a young family. He is one of the comedian/storytellers in the group and is a good whistler and singer
Picture shows (L to R):
Joseph, Agnes, Sayianka and Samuel in Wymondham 2014.
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