Becoming a Man

Becoming a Man Among the Borana

2006Ep251 mins

In Southern Ethiopia, 11-year-old Wario belongs to the Borana, a semi-nomadic tribe renowned for salt trading in the region. It is time for him to prove to himself and to his family that he is a real Borana, and can take on important responsibilities in the community.

He will undergo a 200-kilometer initiatory journey to learn the difficult labor of salt trade. Accompanied by his father, he will face the many dangers of the desert: heat, thirst, fatigue and threats from enemy tribes.

The first step of his trip takes him to El Soda, the "mouth of the devil," an impressive 350-meter-deep crater in which men risk their lives to extract salt. He will watch his father negotiate the price of salt and then help him load the camels with bags of it. Father and son will then cross the apocalyptic landscape of the Chew Bahir, the most dangerous part of the trip, where they risk the attacks of their worst enemy, the Hamer tribe. Under a scorching heat of 50°C, Wario is alert and tries to be brave.

Will he make it across the desert to sell his precious white gold?

Video Language: English