The ivory gods

The world and the fights to keep wildlife ivory where they belonged have been a real struggle for years.

Early 2014 Prince William announced his wish to get the Royal ivory collections destroyed – news of this magnitude received as much attention as expected.

Comments on Telegraph of this news is far more interesting than the article itself.

Of course this is a tall order wishing that the ivory be destroyed perhaps Prince William have just read entries about events leading to the massive royal ivory collection and had different views as to who should be ashamed for contributing to the massive decline of African wildlife.

The first time I saw The Gods Must Be Crazy, about a decade after it was made, I saw most part of it as documentary of the other side of Africa I didn’t know about so felt entertained. 

It was 35 years since The gods must be Crazy was made and since then a lot has happened.

Given how ivory poaching is rife on the continent today and the fact that lots of campaign out now are focussed on Africans poaching wildlife and selling them on mostly to China or the West, there is a need for a little reflection on how it all started.

Need not be blame game.

I watched this movie for the second time the other day and I can’t help but noticing how the bushmen were disgruntled at how wasteful it was that the big animals in the jungle were being killed just so to retrieve the ivory.

And in the same jungle were men in their truck unknown to the bushmen  invading their space who seemed to be on order to do one thing – poach the ivory.

China now has imposed a one year ban on ivory imports to the country to curb wildlife poach, not too surprising given this coincides with Prince William official visits to the country – a progress nonetheless.

Categories: Africa, Education, Nigeria

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10 replies

  1. I had a good laugh remembering The Gods Must Be Crazy…thanks for this post of which I enjoyed very much 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL
    The mere thought of ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy’ made me laugh.
    I had to read your post a second time over again, because the first time I was distracted with funny memories of my childish pranks on my friends, which I copied from the film.

    I tied hands & legs of kids & made them run races, laughing my head off as the fell repeatedly
    I dropped bottles & tins from tree tops to scare off unsuspecting by-passers…
    I dropped the tiniest pebbles inside ears of sleeping classmates….

    Opps Ivory hunters…. Horrible thing!! I thing the Prince just loves Africa & the wild & nature.

    I remember trying to explain how bad it is to hunt these animals to a local hunter sometime back & it was quite interesting how he felt it was all part of the cruelties of the Western world.

    He compared this trend to how the West have had their fill of the ease & fun of using cheap non-recycled energy and they now want to deny us our turn.

    Silly eh?

    Liked by 1 person

    • What we did to prank, eh?

      Right on the renewable energy. I think this is the attitude of most developing world on this issue, which in a way has to be said however, the need for lifestyle adjustment is obvious to us all so Africans can not afford to play ‘catch up’ on what the West had done wrong.

      For example many western nations are investing massively on getting their citizens on cycling and this includes major cities such as London.

      For the Prince and many more Westerners who have had the privilege of seeing wildlife in both their natural habitats and at the zoo – it is not hard to see where they truly belonged as that is where they flourished most.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi FK, this cycling in London thing is very contraversial. Quite a number of cyclists have died on London’s roads. (I think the last case was last week, a female cyclist was involved with a truck). The massive funding of it, you refer to is the brain-child of London’s Boris Johnson (the mayor). I think before you go encouraging people to take to their bikes, make sure you have a special cycle lanes introduced and proper driving etiquette. From memory, drivers in Nigeria are the worst I’ve ever seen.

        About wild animals and zoos or wild habitats etc. I don’t think Nigerians pay much attention to either. I find it strange that Nigerians will remark at how wonderful Kenya or Gabon are with their managed landscapes, but they fail to realise that if Nigeria were also suitably managed they would have an equally beautiful landscape that is not devoid (or almost) of natural life forms.

        I think Prince William like many in the West, due to education and a feeling of regret of what was ‘once lost, value keeping what little habitat remains (this is lost on Africans, those nations that take it seriously do it only for the tourist dollars is draws in and that it puts them on the World map). This sentiment is largely lacking in Nigeria (although tiny attempts are being made in Ibadan & Lagos).

        Liked by 2 people

        • Very true that Nigeria especially do not appreciate its wildlife. However, I think it is largely due to the fact that lots of animals that were local to us especially in the west were being hunted to extinct.

          We would not change that attitude overnight given the outcry from game vendors due Ebola outbreak – it can be done if we put work into it – educating people and funding to safe the remaining few especially the endangered ones.
          I was impressed visiting Kano Zoo a while ago, although 99% of the animals were long gone however, there were a particular species of antelope – the very big type we don’t have in the west that were kept there, very healthy.

          On the bike issue – you are very right with all that you said. Unfortunately, there have been lots of casualties, too many. I thought last year was particularly bad – the last lady to be knocked down by a truck on South Circular made me think I’d never cycle again – very terrifying as I use the road. Years ago on the way to work on the bus, I usually cringe watching cyclists weaving through the traffic in central London.

          Rather than backing down, the response to all of these have been free cycle lessons offered in many London borough for adults and children alike, more bike lanes been created, talks on banning trucks in central London, employers given incentives and schools encouraging cycling and even car pooling.

          It might be controversial but the alternative is not a viable option especially with NHS talks about getting obese patients to pay their way.

          Nigeria is different ball game because people are mostly on their own. I like to believe we don’t have to go through the same process, we can leapfrog on many issues. Lagos managed to ban okada as it was way too dangerous but given 70% of Nigerians live in rural areas, SE are a bit better with alternative transport but I’d like to see more of this in the SW and the rest of the country.


          • Quality reply.
            You’re well informed, I’m surprised you know so much about London (UK).
            Isn’t okada creeping back into Lagos state?


            • Well, I think the ban was mostly in the central area basically saving people from getting their skull smashed on the road however, on the outskirts, this is a different story as it is an easy/quick way to get around. I would not be surprised if people now ignored the ban and pray to God for protection.

              A young man in my town travels from Ibadan to Ife every weekend on his motorbike, I remember once thinking that is just not worth it given many dangerous drivers on the road, sadly on one of his trips, a mini bus ran into him – he is lucky to be alive today but confined to a wheel chair as he had serious spinal injury.

              Baba jco, I know a bit about London as I reside here. You know how it is with our people, it is easy to play the where do you work/live game, when the real issue is left on the side. I think lots of Nigerians in diaspora live in-between worlds, we think and live Nigeria even when we are thousands of miles away because we know we can do better.


              • Ah, FK as I read more, I discover your journeys around the world the US and now the UK, from what I can see Thailand (the picture of the lady with the elongated neck).

                I personally keep an eye on on affairs Nigerian, because it would be good to know that things are improving…

                I’ve ever been on ‘okada’ once and that was in China. It was kind of scary because you are a lot more ‘closer’ to the traffic and the road than you’d expect. Once was a quite enough for me, after the trip I paid the driver 10 Yuan, and went about my business.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Well, Thai trip was the longest break ever, 6 weeks, it was fun and eye opening. The Hill Tribe I think the long neck lady is called were interesting.

                  okada in China? I would think tuktuk (three wheeler bike) would be common there as opposed to okada – interesting.


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