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One Very Brave 12 Year Old Maasai Girl

It takes great courage to stand up to centuries of tradition, to your parents and tribal elders and say, “No this is wrong, I won’t do what our women have always done, I want a different life.” The strength to say that and then follow through on your words is almost unfathomable when it’s spoken by a 12 year old Maasai girl in a small village in Kenya. Kakenya Ntaiya, was that girl. Now she has her PhD and has returned to her village to build a school for girls so others can have the same chance at a different future. I went to the school to see for myself the difference Kakenya is making in the lives of other young Maasai women. This video is from that visit, but this week I also interview Kakenya for my radio show National Geographic Weekend and she updates me on the progress her school has made since my visit two years ago. When you realize the impact Kakenya is having on the lives of not only Maasai girls, but also the Maasai men and tribal elders it is no surprise that she has been chosen as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.


  1. Dakota Imes
    March 21, 2013, 4:48 pm

    Thanks for the info it really helped me out alot with my research pages!!!

  2. Sue McColl
    December 28, 2012, 7:02 pm

    Thanks for your recent posts on dessert elephants and the 12 year old Maasai girl.! Found them interesting and informative,as usual. Good for you helping to foster change
    for girls and women! Sue McColl