Arts & Entertainment

Gaia Dominici, an Italian-Colombian who fell in love with a Maasai warrior

By Patricia Martínez

Nairobi, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- Gaia Dominici’s life changed radically when she fell in love with Ntoyiai, a Maasai warrior from Kenya’s Rift Valley.

The 28-year-old Italian-Colombian has lived with Ntoyiai in the town of Kajiado, near Mount Kilimanjaro, since 2015 and the couple have a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Lily Rose.

“When I really realized I was in love with Ntoyiai and I didn’t want to live anywhere else, I actually got scared because you have to (make a jump),” she tells Efe, acknowledging that her daily life might seem strange to some.

“Then you ask yourself, what is the other option, being unhappy? So you have to jump even if you don’t know where you will jump.”

The town of Kajiado has no electricity, television or other technological amenities common in Western households, but residents do have access to solar-powered batteries.

“Their sense of community — we are not a single person, we are a group of human beings — they really look after each other and care about each and it’s something in the Western world we are losing so much,” Gaia, who studied photography at the Falmouth University in the United Kingdom, says.

Her introduction to the Maasai people occurred seven years ago as part of a project when she was still a photography student.

The same community she lives with today took her in with affection. Everyone wanted to have their photograph taken. It was in this period that she met Ntoyiai, with whom she felt a special connection, despite not speaking Swahili at the time.

Despite becoming a member of the Maasai community, there are some customs Gaia has chosen not to adhere to, such as polygamy and giving birth at home.

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