Osiligi Maasai Warriors

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About the Osiligi

Who are the troupe?
The Osiligi Warriors were founded by their chairman Tajeu Minnisa (Richard) in 2007. The purpose of the troupe is to benefit their families and the wider community in their village of Kisamis, situated approximately 30 miles southwest of Nairobi. Money is raised by a series of UK tours during which the troupe will perform their tribal song and dance and spread the word about their culture.

Where were the previous tours?
To date, the troupe have toured every year since 2007, performing in schools, theatres and churches. Their first tour was based in Edinburgh and was so successful, they returned to Scotland then moved down to Devon and Cornwall where they were equally well-received. Amongst many prestigious engagements, they performed at the second Commonwealth Sports Development Conference attended by representatives from all over the Commonwealth and the Scottish First Minister together with members of the Scottish Parliament. They were also invited to perform at the Eden Project in Cornwall and the Dartmoor Zoological Park. In recent years, they have toured the length and breadth of the UK :  throughout Scotland, Cumbria, Cheshire, Shropshire, Hereford, Lincolnshire, Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire, Essex, East Anglia and the Home Counties. This year we visit Northumberland and Yorkshire for the first time.  Each tour now lasts for two months and attracts great media attention. The following links are from their recent tours:

 - BBC Cornwall
Bude School
Blog following the Dartmoor zoo show


As a direct result of the tours, it has been possible to find sponsors for the children of their community who previously could not afford to attend school. For more information on the charity projects click here
 
Biographies

In introducing the members of the troupe, it is important to stress that each and every one of them is humble, affectionate and kind. Indeed those of us involved in this tour love them all and feel privileged to be helping them. Without doubt they will leave a lasting impression on all who meet them.





4 Maasai at the Eden Project
























TAJEU (also known as Richard)
Richard 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. Richard is married with three sons and now - a baby daughter!. 

SERGE, KESEME and LYDIA have been stalwarts of recent 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!





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 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).



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.

AGNES - mother of four boys - is a beadworker in Kenya and a noted singer.  She replaces Lydia.




JOESPH is 30 years old and also a farmer with a young family.  He is a good soloist and whistler and is the new comedian in the group.


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.










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