Johnny Brooks's Reviews > Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna

Facing the Lion by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton
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Jul 25, 2010

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Read in January, 2010

Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton is from Northern Kenya. He was born into the Ariaal subgroup of the Maasai, and lived a nomadic lifestyle. This book tells his story from birth, where he immediately began his life as a nomad, till completing university in the U.S.A.

A fascinating story filled with lots of insight into the Maasai culture. It was written with a younger reader in mind, and is truly a very easy read. Joseph will not win any literary awards for this book, or at least should not, but he is adept at story telling. I particularly enjoyed his story of meeting President Daniel Arap Moi.

This is the first book about Kenya I have read, despite living here for five years now. Perhaps more will be in my future reading list.

My biggest complaint is that he did not challenge the deficiencies of his culture. I wish he would have talked more about the inequality that exist between the sexes. He did mention that girls often marry men 15 years older than themselves. However he failed to mention that those girls are very often children when they marry those older men.

A good book for the kids, as long as some follow up is added on gender issues, and the rights of children.
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