Perusing the Apple website a few days ago, I came across this story, Macs Join the Masai Tribe. Patrick O’Sullivan, a retired tech executive, decided to support a school in Kenya’s Masai country. The story quotes O’Sullivan after the school room was built, solar cells installed, and Macs powered up:

“It was amazing to watch the children use the new tools with such ease,” he adds. “They were intuitively touching, feeling, laughing and investigating. It became clear to me that it doesn’t matter whether you’re from the north, south, east or west of anywhere on this earth: people are naturally curious and once they see a tool, they want to see how it works.”

Is it really that simple?
Curious about the story, I sent it on to StorageMojo’s East Africa correspondent, Lynne Leakey, who’s lived among the Masai while leading safaris for the last 30 years and asked if she’d heard about this. Her prompt reply:

Actually I have heard. Everyone is getting into it these days. The Maasai know more about their cellphones than I do!!! I ran out of time recently and there weren’t any scratch cards available and one fellow said I could pay him and he would transfer time to my phone from his!!! I hadn’t the slightest idea of what he was talking about or how to do that.

The $100 laptop could be more revolutionary than we know
Congratulations to Mr. O’Sullivan and his efforts to build schools for the Masai. If you want to know more about his work, check out And if you’d like to safari among tha Masai, I’d be pleased to point you to the intrepid Ms. Leakey. Send a comment below.

Other comments welcome, as usual. And don’t miss my post tomorrow on Apple’s enterprise strategy, the talk you won’t hear from Mr. Jobs.