She’s 27, she’s Jewish, and she wears Gucci: she’s Mindy Budgor and she’s the first female Maasai warrior in recorded history. For that reason alone, it’s important to read Warrior Princess, but that’s not the only reason. It’s also surprisingly funny; you will LOL a lot, probably very hard. Budgor hails from Chicago and, out of a hazy sense of purpose, was applying for a master’s in business when she heard the howling call of the Maasai, a semi-nomadic people in Kenya. Upon learning that Maasai warriors have strictly been men since the dawn of time, she decided to turn that mother out. She embarked on this unprecedented mission to Loita, Kenya, with her friend, Becca, who had very little patience with her from the get-go, and together with their trusty teacher, Lanet, a couple of spears, and some nail polish, they pursued one of the most challenging and hazardous occupations in the world. Among a long list of requirements, a Maasai warrior must be absolutely fearless, protect her people and pastures, “be able to face any animal head-on,” and be the first to go hungry during famine. Budgor’s recollection of her training includes such topics as swords, spears, blood, guts, earlobes, elephants, monkeys, circumcisions, clitorectomies, seat-soiling car rides, elephant highways, high heels, Under Armour, OPI, and Beyoncé. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll never want to put it down, as well you shouldn’t. Warrior Princess is something for which the world never realized it was waiting.
Warrior Princess: My Quest to Become the First Female Maasai Warrior, $17.07, amazon.com
By Whitney Dwire
This review appears in the Aug/Sept 2013 issue of BUST Magazine withJanelle Monáe. Subscribe now.
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