My name is Neema Naini Laizer. I was born in Loibor Siret Village, part of Maasai Land, in 1987. My father had four wives and all members loved each other. The character of pastoralists is to move from one area to another and they meet other people
My name is Neema Naini Laizer. I was born in Loibor Siret Village, part of Maasai Land, in 1987. My father had four wives and all members loved each other. The character of pastoralists is to move from one area to another and they meet other people and tribes. Our group decided to settle in one area to cultivate crops for home consumption. My father did not cultivate so three of his wives left him to find help for their children. But my mum didn’t leave.
The work in our whole family is done by my mum, alone, including sending the children to school. My father wanted the children to remain home so that they could look after the cows and goats. After my brother finished standard 7, my mum wanted him to continue but didn’t have the money or cooperation from her husband.
When I finished primary school my mum told me, “I want to find tuition for you so that you perform well in your national exams”. She couldn’t find money but she begged the teacher to allow me to study with the other pupils and she would pay her with a cup of milk each day. My teacher knew that I usually study hard both inside the class and outside the class, so she allowed me to join the class for free. God’s help is present now and forever.
I studied very hard and at the end I performed well in my exams. I had hope that I would continue rather than be married. When my father encouraged me to be married, I refused. My uncle found the chance for me to go to Emusoi Center after primary school. My father became angry and complained but my uncle did not listen to him. My father listened to people who said it is not good to educate a girl. He called the person who was waiting to marry me to come and take me as his wife. Before that boy came to my village, my uncle and I traveled secretly to Emusoi Center.
My mum got into a lot of trouble that morning because I was not present and my father told my mum that she was the one who encouraged me to travel with my uncle that night. My mum was punished severely until she became ill. The boy’s family told my father to pay back the things they had brought to him (bride price). My father told them to wait until I come home for the holidays then they could come and quickly take me.