The Eye that leaves the Village
Sonyanga Ole Ng’ais is a Maasai warrior from Laikipia in Northern Kenya. He longs to bring positive change to Maasai culture by ending traditional forms of gender-based violence including female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, which are common practices amongst the Maasai. After watching four of his five sisters undergo FGM and get married off in childhood, it became abundantly clear to him that those were not traditions worth protecting.
As Sonyanga grew up, he began fighting for gender equality with his brothers and fellow Maasai with an unusual tool: the game of cricket. Soon after being introduced to the sport, they were hooked, and with Sonyanga as their captain, they formed the Maasai Cricket Warriors.
Slowly but surely, Sonyanga is seeing more girls going to school and being protected from FGM and child marriage. “It is hard to break through and help society accept change. We feel a lot of rebellion, but we are on the right road. If girls get the right support and tools, they will realize their dreams and potential.”
This short film has come about as a result of a collaboration with the talented MA documentary journalism students at Nottingham Trent University and Sonyanga Ole Ngais.
'The Eye that leaves the village sees further' is a Maasai saying and has special resonance for Sonyanga, who is now a postgraduate student at Nottingham Trent University.
Sonyanga is furthering his skills as a filmmaker and photographer, utilizing these mediums as another avenue to advocate for women’s rights, as well as bring awareness to the issue of climate change.
The MA documentary journalism students from Nottingham Trent University with tutor Paul Mottram and Sonyanga Ole Ng'ais.