This man appeared while we were digging out cape buffalo from Maasai waterhole in Maasailand. The Maasai in the area dug large holes to reach the water level and would create makeshift barriers of thorned bushes around them. It had been a particularly dry summer and so the buffalo would ram their way through the defences to get to the water at night. The holes were deeper than usual and the buffalo would often find themselves stuck in solitary, wet confinement until the Maasai herders arrived in the morning to fetch water.
Man and creature were both surprised as each other to meet at dawn and we would be radioed to help. The Maasai live harmoniously with the animals around them but the buffalo in this area are some of the most aggressive throughout Africa and, despite being exhausted from their own attempts at scaling back out the well, they would charge the earth walls around them while we planned how to free them.
This old herder would always appear at the scene and position himself on a high rock near the hole. Unlike the younger Maasai, he had been around enough buffalo to know their power. When the buffalo was finally pulled out with a rope, it would look for the nearest target. The younger men would then flee to find the nearest tree or rock as the tired buffalo lumbered after them. The old man was already safe. He stayed on his rock, propped up on his stick, always watching with the same intense stare as the other Maasai scattered to safety.
Every one of us will be touched by mental illness at some point in our life, either directly or through someone who is close to us. Head Talks believe there is no single path to mental wellbeing and that people can be helped in finding what works for them through information, inspiration and discussion.
By hosting short talks with psychiatrists, academics, yogis, authors, meditation experts, politicians, nutritionists, those who have struggled with and met the challenge of mental illness, and many others with a keen interest in the mind, Head Talks wants to enable each of us to build our own personal toolbox to support mental wellbeing and stay mentally fit.
By bringing these thoughts and discussions into the open, they aim to help lift the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
To enquire about volunteering with Head Talks, please fill out the form below.