When the three young men entered the forest brandishing various weapons, their mission was ‘simple’: to kill a lion and come out unscathed.
They were out to prove to the world that they had grown from boys to men; men of courage who feared not even the most ferocious beasts.
But hours later they emerged from the forest screaming at the top of their voices, bloodied from head to toe; their mission unaccomplished.
This is the sad story of the morans who were on a cultural mission to kill a lion and prove that they are warriors ahead of their graduation ceremony in Mosiro, Narok, in two weeks’ time.
The young men, locals said, ventured out of the manyatta, which houses about 300 of them, after taking a traditional herb “which gave them the urge to go and kill lions”.
In the forest, they reportedly spotted a lioness, which they attacked promptly. But the animal did not take the affront lying down. It fought back, leaving each of them with unsightly injuries before disappearing deeper into the forest.
“We heard screams from the forest but ignored them thinking they were from herdsmen. We learnt about the injuries later from the old men who take care of them in their manyatta,” said Pius Naurori, a local villager.
The wounded morans were taken to Narok North District Hospital, 53km away, where they were admitted.
“We had gone on that mission thinking that like others before us who have done it, we would succeed,” said Ngoitiko Nakola, one of the young men. He had head and hand injuries.
The morans were worried that they would miss the graduation ceremony. “We should be allowed to go back to the manyatta to nurse our wounds, which are not as serious as doctors claim. I don’t want to be left behind when others graduate,” said Shadrack Tikani, who was injured in the face and abdomen.