This week Notts welcomes the famous Maasai Cricket Warriors as part of their UK tour; it’s an action packed schedule running until Saturday 1 September. The team will be all over the shop in the coming weeks to raise awareness of gender inequality, the End FGM Campaign, hate crime, modern slavery, conservation and promoting their culture and country, Kenya...
Hosted by Mojatu Foundation and Nottingham Trent University, the Warriors will be taking part in activities such as cricket matches and festivals, fashion shows and music, a conference, meet and greets, a film screening, Q&A sessions and cultural events like the grand African Farm Festival, which is being held on Saturday 18 August in Nottingham.
Formed in 2007, the team use their fame and love for cricket as an inspiration to educate communities on social justice and give young people a sense of belonging, support and hope through community and school visits. Playing in their traditional clothing, blood-red shukas and bright, beaded necklaces, symbolising the importance of maintaining and promoting the positive aspects of their culture. They are famous for drawing on their skills of spear throwing and using a shield to bat and bowl.
Valentine Nkoyo, CEO of Mojatu Foundation said “It has been my dream for four years now to bring this team from my Maasai community to the UK.” Keen to stress the vital work that they do, she continues: “The team is really changing attitudes of male-dominated communities to value girls’ and women’s rights while advocating for gender equality.”
Not only do the Maasai Warriors use their talents to inspire a deeper love and appreciation for the sport of cricket, but they are now using their growing fame to educate their community by visiting schools to teach cricket basics to girls and boys. This supports younger people to play cricket while helping them to keep active and celebrate their culture through arts and music.
As well as making the game accessible to all, they use their experiences to facilitate meaningful conversation that addresses social injustice. As a team, they seek to educate women and men on the importance of gender equality and actively campaign against destructive practices such as FGM; with this in mind, the tour will also include public lectures, talks and celebrating diversity events.
Despite primarily being organised by Mojatu Foundation and the Maasai Cricket Warriors, Valentine is keen to thank the many other integral partners who have helped to realise the dream; including Nottingham Trent University, The Duchess of Rutland, Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, The Belvoir Cricket and Countryside Trust, Quarry Lab, Trent Bridge Cricket Club, Attenborough Cricket Club, Cavaliers and Carrington Cricket Club, Communities Inc, The Survivor Alliance, End FGM and Fearless Youth Association amongst others.
With a crammed and varied fortnight planned, there’s certain to be something for everyone over the coming weeks and with any luck this will be the start of a long and fruitful partnership, as Valentine points out, “We do not want this to be a one off this so we will explore a legacy for them. This will be super exciting for us all”.
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