Week 9 : Mini Links : The Hyena Men of Abuja, Nigeria

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Abdullahi Mohammed with Mainasara, Ogere-Remo, Nigeria 2007
Image: http://www.pieterhugo.com/the-hyena-other-men/

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The Hyena Men of Abuja, Nigeria 2005
Image: http://www.pieterhugo.com/the-hyena-other-men/

I came across this article this week and was utterly fascinated. That is a real hyena in the first picture and the animals are from the wild. This is about a group of “performers who used the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines.”

What the author said in the article touched me –

“When I asked Nigerians, “How do you feel about the way they treat animals”, the question confused people. Their responses always involved issues of economic survival. Seldom did anyone express strong concern for the well-being of the creatures. Europeans invariably only ask about the welfare of the animals but this question misses the point. Instead, perhaps, we could ask why these performers need to catch wild animals to make a living. Or why they are economically marginalised. Or why Nigeria, the world’s sixth largest exporter of oil, is in such a state of disarray.”

This is one of those articles that will stay with me for a long while.

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