Facing The Lion Africa
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Kenya

Kenya | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
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Facing the Lion takes place in northern Kenya where a tribe called Maasai rules the area. It is a poor area where education is lacking, but many family and spiritual values are followed. In Kenya, a lack of lions are there due to a hot spot for lion hunting.

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red alert Maasai warriors fight with willow and leather after cricket bug bites

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In the article, Red Alert Maasai Warriors Fight With Willow and Leather After Cricket Bug Bites, the staff writer talks about how Maasai warriors take pride in lion hunting, but may be giving it up to play cricket. They talk about how not many people are realizing that these Maasai warriors are swapping out there spears and shields for willows and leathers. They also talk about how these Maasai warriors are trying to be role models in their communities. They try and gain a good reputation by campaigning against female circumcision, child marriages, and HIV/Aids inside the tribal groups. Other groups around South Africa tried to  gain a good reputation in there communities by earning lots of wealth, or even dating supermodels, but the Maasai warriors didn't. Finally, the Maasai warriors have been excelling in cricket due to there ability of being such great lion hunters. There ability to throw spears and shield-wielding has helped them get better at there batting abilities.


Both the staff writer of the article and Lekuton detail the Maasai warriors as a high point in there tribes (or communities), as well as being great lion hunters. Lekuton shows how being a Maasai warrior allows you to help and assist the other warriors in lion hunting. He talks about how his older brother didn't want him to come due to him being young and not him being a warrior yet, but Lemosolai said he was just as much as a warrior as them and he should be allowed to go on the hunt (Lekuton 15). Also, Lekuton talks about how going becoming a warrior just moves you up in the community, and makes you feel more of a man. Lemosalai says after he went through the initiation of getting circumcised, he finally felt he was apart of the brotherhood of warriors and that he was able to take part in the community decisions.

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More Kenyans learning abroad

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In the article, More Kenyans learning abroad, Tom Amoro talks about how Kenyan students want to further there education overseas. Amoro talks about how there are a ton of Kenyan students at the moment (close to 20,000) already studying abroad in over 40 countries. This shows how these students are trying to get a better life through education which could bring them success in their future jobs. He also talks about how the local universities around the area are not taking the lower end students, but they still have to meet requirements for grades and what the faculty of the university think of them. This shows how the education system in Kenya stays sharp because of the universities just not allowing any Kenyan student to go to school. Last, he states how many of the overseas, or foreign, universities are looking at Kenya to enroll students from there. This would help the university gain more diversity and appeal, as well as helping these students get into better conditions and allowing them to further there education.


Both Lekuton and Amoro talk about the education system in Kenya, as well as the studying abroad that has been getting more and more popular over the years. Lekuton talks about how he had to stay focused and balance out his school work with his traditions back home which helped him get stronger as an individual with a goal of being able to get to America and study. Lekuton talks about how he always the goal to travel to America since he was a little kid all the way back in elementary school (Lekuton 93). Also, in the article they say that the students waiting to study abroad have to wait for almost a year, hoping for a scholarship that will grant them access to study abroad. In the story, Lekuton tells us how he waited a few months to get the letter of admission and when he got it, he was granted a full scholarship. Last, Lekuton had to fill certain requirements for admission to college, and even the next school. Lekuton didn't have the greatest grades, but the school gave him a great background, and he was interested and tried his best to get the best education.

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National Geographic - Lion Warriors (1/5) - YouTube

On the Great Plains below Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, lions are attacking Maasai cattle, as they have for hundreds of years. And the proud Maasai warriors ha...
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

In the documentary, Lion Warriors by National Geographic, they talk about what the Maasai tribe and lions go through every single day which is the Maasai warriors hunting lions, and the lions hunting the Maasai's cattle. They state how there use to be 30,000 lions in Kenya, but it is now down to about 2000 with about 100 dying or disappearing each year. The majority get hunted around the Maasai area, and the reason for the Maasai warriors hunting these lions is because they use them to prove there bravery as well as protecting there cattle. Also, they describe how the future warriors have to go through a ritual before they are considered a Maasai warrior. The most important part of it is the young boys getting circumcised, then attempting to hunt a lion to make there father proud after a week of getting circumcised. Last, they talk about how they treat there livestock as one of them, and will do anything to protect it. A lion came and attacked three donkeys, as well as killing one of them which got these warriors furious. They did agree with National Geographic to not kill them though if they can capture them and just take them away instead.


Both Lekuton and National Geographic talked highly of Maasai warriors, as well as the hunting of lions around the Kenya area. Lions killing a Maasai warriors cattle would be compared to a murder in our society today. Maasai warriors value there cattle because it is apart of there pride, as well as a source of fortune they have. Lekuton's older brother became angry when the lion that attacked there cattle in the early morning, killed there mothers favorite cow (Lekuton 16). They formed a circle around this lion and were all in a trance that couldn't be broken, but Lekuton was scared and asked his brother if he could run to the village and get others when his brother offered him that before. Also, Lekuton had to go through an initiation that would help him be considered a warrior. He had to get circumcised at the age of 13, and it was considered he had to or he would still be considered a small boy (Lekuton 65). Without being circumcised, he would not be able to make any decisions, and most importantly he would not be considered a Maasai warrior.

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Maasai boy with cattle

Maasai boy with cattle | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

In this picture, it shows a young boy caring for his families cattle. The cattle of the Maasai shows wealth of a family, and also is very important to them because it provides milk as well as social status. This boy has much pride herding the cattle because one day he wishes to be like his elders and have his own cattle.

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Facing the Lion

Facing the Lion | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

In the story, Facing The Lion, a boy named Lemasolai (Joseph) goes through the changes from a young boy into a warrior. He is not your average boy because he wants to go to school and learn, as well as becoming a warrior and following in his brothers foot steps. They live in a tribe called Maasai in northern Kenya, and is the only boy in his family that goes to school. Lemasolai (Joseph) goes to school and still wants to become a warrior in his tribe, as well as getting an education. He goes through a lot from getting picked on at school, as well as losing his cattle and hiding from his family in a tree for two days. Whenever school goes on break, he had to travel back to his village which could take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. He usually went hungry, but he knew what he needed to do. When he became a warrior, he had to get circumcised at the age of 13 without moving any part of his body and not everyone survived it. He survived and his oldest brother who he referred to as father, gave him his own cattle which symbolized pride, respect, and honor. In school, he was picked on and was a little more on the heavier side. He always got punished by teachers for always talking back at classmates when they made fun of him, and became use to the pain. He was one of the top students in his class, which allowed him to go off to high school in a richer part of Kenya. He excelled at soccer, and was the best one on his team and even the president came to him to tell him that he wanted him to win the game for him because they were going against a rival school which was also a rival of the president. Lemasolai learned that his mother was ill after the game, and the president helped him with getting her better. The president then helped him get into a college in New York, and Lemasolai faced some struggles on his way there through starvation and not knowing how to use the pay phone. During every vacation, Lemasolai goes back to Kenya with some other students, and helps out the community and makes it better.



The scopes I will be doing more research on is cow raising, symbol of the lion, and Maasai tribe. These topics affect Lemasolai's life because the cow raising symbolizes a boy turning into a warrior, the symbol of the lion represents the predator they fear because they kill cows and eat them, and the Maasai tribe is the tribe Lemasolai is from. For example, about cow raising, Lemasolai's older brother says, " This is Sile. She has got three calves - that one, that one, that one."(Lekuton 63) After this, Lemasolai couldn't believe it because he was finally accepted by his family, especially his oldest brother who was pretty much the father of their family. Also, throughout the book the symbol of the lion played a big part and also was the opening chapter. Lemasolai said, " Where I live in northern Kenya, the lion is a symbol of bravery and pride." (Lemasolai 9) This quote shows how important the lion is because the book opens up with it. The last scope is the Maasai tribe, which is the tribe he lives in. Inside that tribe, they had a lot of of special customs and beliefs they followed. For example, Lemasolai talks about a special bull, " One horn is normal; the other is crooked. But it's special." (Lekuton 28) They say this because they believe that this special bull can tell when danger and bad things are about to happen to the cattle.

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Charities accused over 'cheap' cows given to Africa

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In an article, Charities accused over 'cheap' cows given to Africa, from the newspaper, the author West talks about how charities helping out African families by donating foreign cows for a price that is more affordable than others. She talks about how the charity would help the families with the cows, especially if they became sick because it was hard for these families to support them when they got sick. This is a main point to the article because it shows that these cheap cows would be giving these family problems, and bring up the question, are they really worth it? Also, West talks about how these "cheaper" cows were a lot of extra work with very little return. The problem with that is the whole point of donating these cows to these families was to make it easier for them and also give them what they needed so they can care for other things.


Both Lekuton and West talk about the importance of a cow to African families, and the importance of a cow to a person in Africa. Lekuton talks about how cows are the prize possession of there families as well as them defending them at all cost. At the beginning, Lekuton and his brothers are out camping with the cattle when they hear a strange thunder noise from a distance, but they knew it was a lion attack the cows. There prized cow got killed, and they all went after him to try and redeem there prized cow (Lekuton 13). This shows the importance of the cow because they also talk about how it was there mothers favorite cow and how she would always check up on it as well as it producing the best milk. Last, Lekuton received cows from his oldest brother which showed that his older brother was showing great respect. Lekuton also says that it shows that his oldest brother really loved him, and Lekuton would appreciate his cows by taking them to the best grass and water (Lekuton 64).

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Maasai Association | Kenya

Maasai Association | Kenya | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

The Maasai Association is an organization that helps preserve the Maasai culture as well as trying to help these Maasai people get into the modern world while preserving the culture so they will not forget where they come from. Some objectives they have is to create employment in the local area with some tourism in the community as well as an intercultural exchange program. Also, a goal of theirs is to build learning places like primary schools, libraries, cultural centers, and other eduction based places to conserve the Maasai culture, and to spread the knowledge. This is important because it keeps them up with there culture, as well as letting people know more about it. The director, Kakuta Ole Maimai, was born in Kenya and does what he can to help children from the Maasai tribe further there educations. One project they have completed was the Maasai High School in Kenya which main goal was to give students formal education that compares to America.


Lekuton talks much pride about being apart of the Maasai tribe. From being a warrrior, and even getting an education in Kenya, Lekuton develops a sense of knowledge that keeps his roots close to him, as well as getting to America. School was not what Maasai people wanted there kids doing, but rather having them stay at home and helping with the cattle and helping around the community.  Lekuton always wanted to go to school, and even lied about his age to get into school so he can get an education. Even his mom wanted him to go to school telling her husband that he shouldn't stay here and should try to get out (Lekuton 55). Lekuton also wanted to start helping with other communities in Kenya while he was in school because he was learning more and more about different tribes. He wanted to help the Nomads in Kenya because they didn't get represented well by the government and not any other institutions (Lekuton 76).

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Lion Hunting

Lion Hunting | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
See a Masai lion hunter, a Finnish surfer, a Somali peace worker and others at the DocPoint film fest in Helsinki.
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

This photo relates to my topic because it shows a Maasai warrior about to hunt a lion. Maasai warriors hunt lions to show bravery and honor, and to protect there cows from getting killed. My first reaction to this photo was amazed how calm the warrior looks going against a lion which is probably as big as him or even bigger.

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Maasai Warrior

Maasai Warrior | Facing The Lion Africa | Scoop.it
Brandon Blankenship's insight:

This picture shows the traditional attire for a Maasai warrior. A Maasai warrior isn't considered a warrior until he goes through initiation which is circumcision, and hunting a lion by himself. You can see what the warrior is wearing which is made for him after initiation.

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