We are working with Kenyans United Against Poaching, House of Friends Kenya and the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos on this project to ensure the voices of Africans are heard loud and clear.
Trophy hunting was never an African tradition, it was a practice carried out by Colonial countries as part of their plunder of this continent. We have, sadly, been told of many cases of abuse at the hands of trophy hunters.
The disrespect for life has extended to illegal evictions and extreme physical abuse, Survival International documented what has happened to the Baka in Cameroon.
A Baka man said: “When the trophy-hunting company finds us here they burn the camps. They beat us, they search for us, they set their dogs on you, their guns on you.”Survival International
A third Baka said: “The trophy-hunting company said that if they see anyone [in the forest] bullets will fly. Now those who have family there have gone to get them out. How will we live now?”Survival International
Safari Club International opened its ‘African Chapter’ in 1995 to promote trophy hunting. They start off with this ‘idealism’:
“SCI members have developed a love affair with Africa, realizing that because they have enjoyed the sport of hunting on your Continent, they want to give something back. Our members believe that a large portion of the money generated from trophy hunting should somehow return to the rural people living among the wildlife;” they continue with the same evangelising attitude of the Colonialistic powers, and are set on educating the African mindset: changing their attitude from seeing animals as a short-term source of meat, “nyama,” or as a human, animal and crop pest, to becoming stewards of the game as it turns into a long-term and sustainable economic resource for them and their children.”
Since 1995 they have actively promoted trophy hunting directly with meetings with government ministers through the forums African Advisory Board (now called the African Wildlife Consultative Forum).
An elephant that kills a rat is not hero. Killing wild animals for skulls, skin, hooves, and
horns is not the work of a hero. This is not an African idea; it’s a western idea that
destroys Africa’s heritage. Trophy hunting is killing Africa’s dreams, it is the big lie that
“face masks” the truth, the lie that stops Africans from dreaming beyond the horizon
about living in harmony with our wild relatives, our family; letting us think we are being
helped from afar, when the truth is that trophy hunting enslave us, makes slaves of our
people, our land and our wildlife.
We have been separated from our animals by colonial ways, by western ways; you,
trophy hunters have taken Africa’s animals away from us as trophies, to decorate your
walls! And then you try to make us believe you care about our animals and our people!
How is that possible?
I have a different dream for Africa, where Africans rise for Africa and for Africa’s wild
children; and believe me, if you think we can’t make a difference; you have not spent a
night with a mosquito. Africa has dreams, she has magic; we don’t need western saviors
who come to save our animals and our lands from ourselves. These saviors are like the
preachers and teachers who can’t hear themselves. They just keep talking. They speak
a lie. We see the lie; Africans know that the snake that you can see cannot bite you.
This lie, “trophy hunting” must stop! Our animals are our heritage. Our ancestors.
Let Africa Live.
Jamey Ponte (Kenya)
As an American who has lived in Africa, in Kenya, for nearly 20 years, I am well aware of
the negativity that the west has come to symbolize throughout the continent; much of
this perception is justified, colonial practices of yesteryear are – still – pervasive
throughout the motherland.
Trophy Hunting is typical of such practices, thinking, and behavior. The USA, the UK,
the EU and the Middle East all import trophies, all are culpable; primarily the USA, a
nation where the largest number of trophies from endangered animals find homes on
the walls of wealthy westerners; symbols of power, greed, violence, and unmitigated
Trophy hunting is a continuation of oppression and possession, it satisfies the neocolonial
definition of colonialism and has hardly anything to do with the real needs of
Africa, with the real needs of the continent and of her people.
If those who trophy hunt and the corrupt governments supporting such practices have
the slightest understanding of the hearts and minds of most of Africa’s people, of
Africa’s wild heritage, they would see beauty, not trophies, not commerce, not a means
to an end, but life and a yearning for authenticity.
Let Africa Live.
Rosemary Alles (South Africa, USA)
“If to be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow-creatures is to be a fanatic, I am
one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be at large.”
― William Wilberforce (leading English abolitionists)
There is no solution to the maladies that ails our species’ relationship with nature other
than the moral one. In the end, they, these “others”, our wild siblings are fellow
travellers, nations unto themselves, inherent with the inalienable right to exist.
Trophy hunting kills, it holds Africa, her wild creatures and the world captive in a new
form of slavery; it underlines the definition of “disaster capitalism”, exploiting ongoing
crises and the disenfranchised by expropriating nature and leaning to corruption.
Not all the data points in the world, nor equivalent analysis, or white papers will resolve
the disruptive relationship we (humans) have with nature. It will be the moral argument
that wins the day, IF it wins the day.
It is simply wrong to enslave in the name of commerce and it is simply wrong to kill in
the name of protecting life; ask a child, she’ll tell you.
Let Africa Live.
Let africa live (the other one)
In 1997 an American non profit called The Inclusive Conservation Group applied and gained funds from Safari Club International to run a covert social media campaign (see above). It predominantly used two social media sites ‘Let Africa Live’ and ‘Proud American Hunter’ these sites were closed down by Facebook and Instagram this summer. You can read the report on this here: