Cattle are also central to weddings - a man must give some to his future father-in-law. If several men want to marry the same woman, a bidding war follows and the bride price can reach 100 cattle.
When they are out with the cattle, the herd boys smear themselves and their animals with flattened dung, which looks like ash.
This protects against the sun, tsetse flies and other insects.
Tending to over 50 cows, Steven Maluk, 18, says he, "has much respect from others because of his cows".