Suffolk - just like Kenya

A GROUP of Maasai warriors from Kenya delighted schoolchildren when they danced and chanted their way across the grounds of a Suffolk school at the start of a tour.

A GROUP of Maasai warriors from Kenya delighted schoolchildren when they danced and chanted their way across the grounds of a Suffolk school at the start of a tour.

The dance troupe's eerie chanting of their songs captivated boys and girls at Woodbridge School and their smiling friendly faces and gentle manners were infectious for everyone who watched.

But back in their home country the men are capable of tackling the lion, their traditional enemy, which eats their livestock - and their visit to Suffolk has a serious message.

They are trying to raise the profile of their people and educate the British public about their culture and their poverty.

Their lives are tough. They graze their cattle and goats in areas of drought where fresh water is scarce, education is basic and infant mortality is high.

Nicholas Sironka, group leader, said: "Money that we raise can be used for building houses, latrines and sending children to high school. These are our priorities and one major project we have is to get everybody a water tank and this will save people walking a long way to get water.

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"We are not just here to entertain, but we want to educate about our culture that has been misunderstood or misinterpreted."

They arrived in England on Monday and they are staying at Woodbridge School with performances at the Suffolk Show and in 60 schools during a three-week trip.

Seleina Sironka, Nicholas's wife, said: "We feel at home here because it is much like Kenya. We find the motorists drive on the same side of the road and the breakfasts are just like what we have at home."

The visit was arranged by John Curtin, Woodbridge School's strategic business manager, and Sarah Macoun. She is working with alcoholics in Maasai tribes in Kenya and has children at Woodbridge School.

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