In the news this week were features on the previously unknown Maasai herdsman who appeared with Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen in this ad for American Express’ new card for the much-criticized RED campaign. Having seen the ad quite a few times in fashion magazines such as Vogue, I often wondered what the effect on the Maasai man had been. Here now, the Maasai herdsman is making news in multiple media outlets telling his story about his experience. What makes the story worth noting is that the herdsman, though having been paid $5000 for his efforts – an amount five times the annual wages in Kenya – has chosen to return to his life in his Maasai village. “To be honest all I was thinking about when I was with this woman was my cattle and goats,” Keseme Ole Parsapaet told The Associated Press, confessing to sleepless nights worrying about who was looking after his herd. Now that’s love for life and culture. How many of us would have taken the money and abandoned our simple lives.
“It is a good experience to work and make some money, but I believe people should be proud of their country… one should always return,”
- Keseme Ole Parsapaet