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Sayydah And The Samburu Warrior

July 2, 2018 by Comments

Last year I met Sayydah Garrett, founder and president of the Pastoralist Child Foundation.  She passionately shared with me about her quest to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).  I sat there mortified. Hmmm. I’m a writer – what can I do as a playright that might help the cause? So a couple of  months later when Samuel visited the US,  I met with Sayydah and Samuel to learn about how they met and what inspired them to start the Pastoralist Foundation.  The meeting was part of my  research for a short play I wanted to write as “edutainment” to introduce people to Sayydah and Samuel – to give a backstory to these two magnificent people and their purpose. The plan is to perform this piece at Pastoralist events as well as theater venues to introduce people to the cause as well as highlight how Sayydah and Samuel’s journey started…..

CHARACTERS

SAYYDAH:  a beautiful woman in her late 40’s

SAMUEL:   a Samburu warrior from Kenya in his 30’s dressed as a waiter

SETTING

A table for two at the Game Lodge restaurant in Kenya.  Sayydah, walks in and sits down at the table. Samuel walks over and puts a drink down on the table.

SAMUEL: Here you are Sayydah.  The Samburu special.

SAYYDAH: What’s in it Samuel?

SAMUEL: You’ll love it.  Lemonade, mango, fruit slices and grenadine.

(SAYYDAH takes a sip)

SAYYDAH: Perfect drink for this weather.  Thank you.

(SAYYDAH starts rustling through her pocketbook)

SAYYDAH: Samuel, come look!  I have to show you these pictures I took yesterday.

SAMUEL: So I take it you had a good day yesterday?

SAYYDAH: It was extraordinary.  I visited the Masaai village.  The people were so lovely, so kind and warm. Come look at my pictures!

(SAYYDAH shows SAMUEL the pictures, and describes them briefly)

SAYYDAH: This one is of the children as they’re learning their A,B,C’s.  This one is me and a couple of the women in the village.  And this, this one just moved me so.  Two of the tribesman brought me into their hut to show me their home and so proudly pointed to this fire pit no bigger than a huge bowl (Sayydah makes a bowl representation with her arms), and humbly said “this is our kitchen.”  What a day….

SAMUEL: You know Sayydah, this is my sister (pointing to a picture), this is my brother (pointing to another picture), this is my family. This is my village.

SAYYDAH: What?  Why didn’t you say so?

SAMUEL: Oh, I was just having fun with you.

(SAYYDAH laughs.)

SAMUEL: See, there is more to our Kenya than just visiting the elephants you so love.

SAYYDAH: I definitely see that. This trip has been so much more than just connecting with the elephants.  Meeting you, seeing your village, coming on this safari alone, not knowing what to expect and having magical connections pop up all over the place. Such a gift.  And thank you for letting me share my adventures with you.

SAMUEL: It is my honor and privilege.

SAYYDAH: Samuel, can you sit with me for a bit and chat?  I would love to hear more about your village and the people.

SAMUEL: As assistant restaurant captain and a Samburu Warrior, I most certainly can!

(SAMUEL sits down with SAYYDAH)

SAYYDAH: So tell me. As a Samburu warrior what is your main function in the village?

SAMUEL: To protect my tribe.

SAYYDAH: Ahh.  And what are some of the challenges of being a Samburu warrior?

SAMUEL: Well for me right now, it is working to eradicate female genital mutilation.

SAYYDAH: What?

SAMUEL: Yes, it is a cultural practice I see as our people’s biggest vice.  When girls are cut they’re forced to marry and all of their dreams disappear. Sayydah, I want to start a community organization to eradicate female genital mutilation and forced early marriage before it’s my youngest sister’s turn to get cut.

SAYYDAH: I’ve heard of female mutilation years ago when I was watching a television program.  I was horrified. I didn’t realize it was a part of the Masaai’s culture.

SAMUEL: The practice of Female Genital Mutilation is deeply rooted, going back many centuries. FGM is considered a passage to womanhood and performed on girls as young as 12 in preparation for marriage. It started way back in Egypt and migrated to the Africas.  The men, who were herders, would go away for months at a time and come back to some of their women pregnant by other men.  It was thought that if the woman was cut, then this would stop her desire to have sex. The blame of extramarital relations was unjustly put only on the woman’s sexual desire, not the man’s needs or intentions. 

SAYYDAH: And you, as a man, are fronting the fight to change this?

SAMUEL: Yes.  I was raised by my mother and surrounded by warm, kind and loving women who helped to raise me and give me the opportunity to grow into a successful man. I also have two daughters who I cherish. It was on my mother’s death bed that I promised her that I would do whatever I had to do to help to make changes before my youngest sister was cut.

SAYYDAH: Do you have ideas on how to do this?

SAMUEL: I envision the organization’s main tools for confronting these issues and involving the community is to provide educational workshops for everyone, providing scholarships for girls attending secondary boarding schools (to keep them in school), and to ensure that the young women have all their basic puberty needs taken care of, such as supplying sanitary napkins, so that they can stay in school. I also want to teach everyone how to prevent HIV and AIDS, to avoid teenage pregnancy and how to resist violence of all types. My mission is to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced childhood marriages of girls in the Samburu and Maasai communities in Kenya. Maybe even worldwide.  Did you know that there are close to 500,000 women that are at risk in the United States?  And that there are 28 countries that still encourage the practice of FGM?

SAYYDAH: And are there other men who believe as you do? 

SAMUEL: Some, but I think the younger ones more than the older men.  Our male members need to be educated, informed and shown that FGM is a violent act towards our women and ultimately hampers our cultural expansion.  It is a big dream.

SAYYDAH: What a worthy mission Samuel.  How long have you had this purpose in your heart?

SAMUEL: Since I was 5.

SAYYDAH: Wow. That’s a long time. Samuel, my heart is breaking yet I am so enthralled by your vision. Have you ever approached anyone else to help you start an organization to help fulfill your intentions?

SAMUEL: No Sayydah.  You are the first.  God is telling me that you were sent here to help me.  Just like the women in my life were sent here to help me grow into the man that I am today – the man that wants to show communities and activists worldwide to recognize that violence against women is not a “women’s issue” but a human rights issue and that men play a role in stopping the violence. Men can join women and girls in challenging violence and oppression globally and help create a place where people of different backgrounds, lifestyles, and communities can learn and feel safe by listening and caring for each other.

SAYYDAH: Samuel, I too think God wanted us to meet because I know how to help you.  I have a ton of experience as a certified grant writer and as a fundraising expert for non-profits.  And to think, it was the elephants that brought us together.

(SAYYDAH takes out her phone to google something)

SAYYDAH: Samuel look here at the spirit meaning of the Elephant: “Elephant, the ever gentle and wise Spirit animal, exemplifies focused Power and Strength. When an Elephant begins making an appearance in your life it represents a new, improved relationship with the Sacred Feminine in all Her aspects.”  The sacred feminine Samuel.  That is what you and I are going to teach people to respect and honor and glorify.

SAMUEL: Sayydah, you don’t even know me.  We just met yesterday. Why are you so ready to help me?  To help my people?

SAYYDAY: Yes, we only met yesterday.  But look at all the syncronicities!  The village visit, the elephants bringing us together, and the business skills I have to help you make your vision a reality.

SAMUEL: Do not forget your heart – your compassion and kindness.  I felt it the from the first moment we met when I asked you for your food order.

SAYYDAH: Samuel, I can feel your conviction, your dedication to your mission and I feel – no I KNOW in every part of my beingness –  that we met for a reason.  That we are here to help women, communities and families all over the world.  You and I…

SAMUEL: Great!  Then you are the President.

(SAYYDAH a bit surprised, hesitates for a moment and then says)

SAYYDAH: Okay! Done.  Do you have a name you would like to call this organization?

SAMUEL: The Pastoralist Child Foundation.

SAYYDAH: The Pastoralist Child Foundation it is.  Let’s do this….

THE END

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO: https://pastoralistchildfoundation.org/

 


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Ali Skylar (127 Posts)

Ali Skylar’s mission is to use inspirational words, positive affirmations, mindfulness exercises and positive songs to help you learn how to change your life and have a true spiritual awakening! Ali uses her Shiftitudes -uniquely crafted self-affirmation acronyms - blog, books and courses to help keep you committed to your spiritual journey! Also, her Quotitudes – inspirational sayings, encouraging words and inspirational quotes about life - gently aid in helping you to achieve a positive mental attitude essential for personal growth and presence of mind. Chat with Ali on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | YouTube


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