Lord Mayor welcomes Maasai Cricket Warriors

The Maasai Cricket Warriors were formally welcomed to Nottingham with a tour of the Council House and a special ceremony of African music and danced in front of the Brian Clough statue.

The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Liaqat Ali, met the team at the Council House today, Friday 17 August at 11am, marking the start of their two-week tour of the city and wider county.

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The team then treated crowds to a traditional dance in Old Market Square.

The Maasai Cricket Warriors are raising awareness of gender inequality, the End FGM Campaign, hate crime, modern slavery, conservation and promoting their culture and country, Kenya.

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Hosted by Mojatu Foundation and Nottingham Trent University, the Warriors will be visiting between 15 August and 2 September 2018 to take part in activities such as cricket matches and festivals, fashion shows and music, a conference, and cultural events like the African Farm Festival on 18 August in Nottingham.

Formed in 2007, the Maasai Cricket Warriors use their fame and love for cricket as an inspiration to educate communities on social justice and give young people a sense of belonging, support and hope through their community and school visits.

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Councillor Liaqat Ali said: “I’m proud to welcome the Maasai Cricket Warriors to our city and was honoured to show them around our historic Council House. As well as building a cultural bridge between the two countries, their visit will help to raise awareness of a lot of important cultural issues that face our communities.”

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In 2016, Mojatu Foundation was instrumental in getting Nottingham City to declare Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – the first city in UK and Europe to do so.

Valentine Nkoyo, the lead tour organiser and CEO of Mojatu Foundation, said: “The team is really changing attitudes of male dominated communities to value girls’ and women’s rights while advocating for gender equality and we hope to have a legacy. This is a great moment, not only for Kenyans but also for all communities. I see this as the beginning of a long-term relationship between Nottingham and Kenya and also other parts of the African continent.”

Cllr Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Community Protection in Nottingham, said: “I’m proud that our city takes the lead on addressing issues such as hate crime and FGM – and equally proud that the Maasai Cricket Warriors have chosen to visit Nottingham to help us to continue to raise awareness.

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“A joined-up, collaborative response is vital to ensure we are protecting women and girls from violence, and supporting victims and survivors. We will continue to take a partnership approach to this by working with health, education and social care, as well as the police.”