Tuesday 12 May 2009

Manchester United Maasai

My Maasai "brother" Juma has been in even higher spirits than usual with Manchester United's recent run of success. An avid, even obsessive fan, he has been substituting beer for his usual fresh blood tipple and I have been getting middle-of -the-night celebratory phone calls. Maasai are famed for their ability to stay awake.

Half a century ago Evelyn Waugh* visited the Maasai and remarked on how they had managed to retain their strong culture and customs. With characteristic hauteur they disdained almost everything the West has brought to Africa. The exceptions, Waugh noted, were tobacco, snuff and South African sherry. Not a lot has changed in fifty years but I think we can add Premiership football and mobile phones.

* Published as 'A Tourist in Africa' and highly recommended.

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