Our Maasai choir here at Olbalbal has gained quite a reputation. We traveled to a few celebrations during the last couple of years and made a huge impression on people.
This popularity is primarily due to Matayo OleTajeuo, their director. He is a great singer and his unique voice stands out among Maasai singers. Due to his growing reputation, our group is being called upon to lend their voices to various Maasai gatherings here at Ngorongoro and beyond. OleTajeuo also composes Maasai music and comes up with unique words and melodies drawn from bible stories and themes for Sundays and feast days.
This popularity has a bit of a dark side to it. With the elections for president coming up next year, a political event took place at Endulen. They asked Oletajeuo and the choir to come and sing at the “feast”. A man from one faction in our area came here to the mission to teach songs in praise of his group. We had an impromptu meeting of the choir on his arrival. It was clear to us that we could not endorse a particular group, even though a good many of our Christians are from its’ ranks. The choir told the visitor that we would be happy to join the celebration and sing our own songs, but we would not sing songs endorsing the
one faction over others. OleTajeuo told him that as a church whose members belong to various factions, we had to remain neutral.
The fellow reluctantly agreed to our reservations and in fact sent cars to take OleTajeuo and the choir to the celebration and to bring them back in the evening. They came back saying that it was a great party, plenty of food and song. They also were clear that they had stuck to their guns, remaining neutral. This incident has caused some hard feelings among some of our Christians who feel that we should have been ready to sing the songs of one group. I am hoping that time will heal the frayed feelings of some.