Getting your children into the right school is a worry for many parents. People move house to get into the right catchment areas, others hire tutors or start attending church. There are no such worries however for Masai elder Mzee Oloiboni Meshuko Ole Mapii, who lives in the village of Eslalei in the Ngorongoro Highlands of Tanzania. Here a school has been built to exclusively educate all his children and grand-children.
As the senior elder of the village which he founded over 60 years ago, he is now a wealthy man, with large herds of cattle and goats. This has allowed him to take a total of eight wives, and his family has grown over the years to in excess of 300. The school currently has 160 children enrolled, and all of them are either his children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. They fill six classrooms.
“I am so proud of my wives and all family members,” said Mzee Oloiboni, speaking recently. Despite estimating his age at over 110, he still sits out every day to answer questions from his family and help give advice over the husbandry of his herds. He is a great advert for his preferred Masai diet based on milk and blood.