Lost Childhood in Kenya
They are beautiful, colorful and the embodiment of the Samburu culture in Kenya: pearl necklaces. But the magnificent pearl jewelry has a dark side. The pearls are gifts from warriors, and they can have sex with the girls whenever they want in return. Josephine Kulea is fighting against this tradition.
Josephine Kulea is herself a Samburu. Her aim is to save girls from sexual abuse. In the remote north of Kenya, the ancient rites of the Samburu are still practiced. But some of these rites violate Kenya's constitution and human rights. Not only the sexual abuse of minors, but also female genital mutilation is a Samburu tradition. Eunice was circumcised as a child, but she told her mother at an early age that she did not want to be a pearl girl. Her mother supported her in her break with tradition, and today Eunice works as a ranger in the Samburu National Park and leads an independent life. Rosila did it differently. Rosila was married to a much older man when she was only nine years old. After the so-called wedding, Rosila and Josephine Kulea met by chance in the city of Maralal. That was the girl's salvation. She went into a boarding school. The beginning was difficult for her: As a nine-year-old, she still had to learn how to hold a pen. Now she's the best in her class. But she has left the path of tradition. "When I tell my story, I think I'm not okay," she says.