SAAZAA & the Maasai People
In the south of Kenya and the north of Tanzania lives one of the last great warrior cultures in the world – The Maasai. Distinguished by their unique garb of bright red, checked blankets and ornate necklaces and bracelets, The Maasai have scarcely changed in decades; living (figuratively and literally) by the beat of their own drum.
One of few existing semi-nomadic tribes, The Maasai’s rich culture is centered around cattle, and their belief that Engai (their God) created these creatures for them to care for. Cattle are the tribe’s main source of income and also play a big role in their way of life and numerous rituals. Their migratory approach to farming has meant the The Maasai have been sustainable land managers long before the western world had even heard of the term.
So, how are saazaa and The Maasai people connected?
Dave was fortunate enough to meet The Massai people in person and it’s an experience that has shaped his approach to life – both personal and business – since. Our approach to everything we do is centered around waking up and dreaming big, being true to who you are and living up to your fullest potential. So many of these values can be seen directly in the Maasai people and their way of life.
Some of the ways that we identify with The Maasai:
The Maasai are courageous. Until recently, the only way for a Maasai man to achieve warrior status was to single handedly kill a lion with his spear. Whilst you won’t find us out hunting lions, you will see us tackling new challenges head on.
The Maasai are calm in the face of danger. Their deep, entrenched sense of who they are as people and their unwavering belief in themselves means they don’t back down. This confidence and belief is something we mirror, and want to instill in our community too.
The Maasai work as a team; they are a strong community. Each person has a specific and equally important role within their tribe. At saazaa, we all have a job to do and we understand the greater purpose of the business… it’s not just about good coffee, it’s about making a difference to the lives of many.
The Maasai are unswervingly true to themselves and their traditions. How the rest of the world chooses to live has no bearing on their own lives. Similarly, we’re here to do things differently. Our processes and approach aren’t adhering to what already exists, or what others believe we should be implementing; saazaa is here to do things in a way that’s true to us.
The vibrant Maasai garb
You’ll see The Maasai’s influence not only woven throughout our values and approach to business, but also in our branding and design choices – our colour pops on the website and across our packaging are reflective of the tribe’s vibrant garb.
We have been inspired not only through the Maasai character traits of courage, calm, community and truth but also through the Maasai appearance. Their bold and bright clothing is reflected in our packaging and our labels stand out against the strong black bags that we carefully selected.
Paving our own way
To see change, you have to be the change and we want to instil the belief in our community that anyone can achieve whatever they set their mind to – and finding success doesn’t always mean following the road most travelled.
We’re turning the coffee game on its head and coming at it with a new perspective and fresh approach. Wake up dream big is the premise on which saazaa was built, and is what we come back to when making all of our decisions.
We want to champion The Maasai people and put a lot of thought into how we can give back to their community. The answer is simple – by inspiring our own. Proceeds from all future events (expect cultural afternoons, coffee schools and lots more fun things) will go towards providing healthcare and educational opportunities in Kenyan communities.