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I took off from Nairobi ensconced in the apparent comfort of a very expensive bus company. After paying 1,700 shillings the previous day, I had been anticipating an ultra-comfortable bus. After all, this amount was almost fifty percent more than the usual bus fare from Nairobi to Mombasa. But there I was, seated in a bus whose leg room was ample but hip room not so ample. The rather narrow chairs were a far cry from the often wide chairs of other cheaper buses that I had previously travelled with.

Tonight the ocean off the coast of Comoros Island’s Ngazidja Island is in a good mood. The usual ill-tempered wind is asleep, leaving behind a gentle breeze that can only stir calm waves.

In 1968, Miriam Makeba arrived in Conakry Guinea and began her life in exile on Africa’s West Coast. Language barriers notwithstanding, she received a heroine’s welcome and found a home away from home. As she was driven from the airport, she witnessed lush fields dotted with waving palm trees prompting her to say that she had never seen such beauty in a long time.

Their ages range from 18 to 80. They are drawn from several villages in the expansive Kajiado County, which is predominantly populated by the Maasai Community. They are known simply as Njoroi Women Group, named after the locality that they come from.

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