From Madame Noire:
According to Wikipedia, the Maasai people of East Africa (particularly Kenya and Tanzania) are “among the best known of African ethnic groups,” mainly because their distinctive dress and traditional customs. But for 32-year-old Mindy Budgor, a “nice Jewish girl” from Santa Barbara, California, the Maasai people will now be known for one other additional thing: being the background to Budgor’s spunky tale about the time she became a Warrior Princess and helped the tribe learn to read/graduate from high school/win the Olympic bobsledding competition/stop gang fighting/end racism/and save the blue planet. Confused? Well let me explain…
Budgor wrote a book about the time she spend in the bushy Kenyan terrains, leading the Maasai people into a more progressive future. In several interviews, most recently in the pages of the UK Guardian, Budgor explained how she was so committed to her efforts to save the natives, she gallantly gave up her routine manicures and pedicures; her morning repast of croissants and Earl Grey tea and driving around in her BMW. As the story goes: After applying to several business schools – and being bored with her “significant time gap”- she decided to go build a clinic on the Maasai Mara game reserve in south-western Kenya. There she got to meet some of the villagers, particularly the elders, who confided in her that the tribe was on the verge of extinction, mainly because of the diabolical Kenyan government, which is taking away the Maasai people’s land and forcing them to abandon their cultural practices. And also God, who caused the droughts, which was causing all the cattle – the tribe’s main currency – to die.
Distressed to learn of the possible fate of the Maasai people, Budgor went into quick white woman-action. In order to help the tribe maintain it’s autonomy against the influences of the Western world, which sought to change its cultural practices, Budgor decided that the best course of action would be best to change the tribe’s cultural practices, specifically by challenging the male dominated thinking that only true Maasai warriors could be men. After being originally dismissed by the tribe’s chief, he later took her up on her offer and off to bush they went, where Budgor spent an entire month in a grueling test of strength and endurance including sleeping in a communal bed with six other male warrior trainees and spearing a wild baby buffalo. Impressed by her sheer awesomeness, the village chief was left with no choice but declare Budgor the baddest mofo low down around this town (sho’nuff!) and grant her the title as the Maasai tribe’s first female warrior.
Read the rest of this story on MadameNoire.com.