"I Was Engaged When I Was Five"

October 29, 2013—National Geographic Emerging Explorer Kakenya Ntaiya was destined to become a child bride. Engaged at the age of five and expected to marry at puberty, she underwent the painful ritual of female genital mutilation as dictated by Maasai tradition. But Kakenya saw a better life for herself and was determined to change her destiny through education. Now an activist with a Ph.D., Kakenya has returned to her Kenyan village and established a boarding school to educate young girls and save them from becoming child brides.

Kakenya is one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2013, putting her in the running for CNN Hero of the Year. Click on this link to vote for Kakenya as the CNN Hero of the Year.