In Nigeria, there are a mysterious band of brothers, the hyena men, who use dangerous animals, snakes, hyenas and baboons as a marketing strategy to woo crowds of people in order to buy their medicine.

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa with 170 million inhabitants. The bustling streets of the country’s crowded cities and towns play host to dancers, actors and entertainers of every variety turning the streets into outdoor theatres, hence showing a culture that loves to be entertained.

The hyena men, popularly known as Gadawan Kura is a group of entertainers in Nigeria who travels around towns with their dangerous group of friends selling their medicine. The performance is a tradition passed to them through many generations. Their animal craft no one can learn, they are born into it.

Hyena, snakes and baboons are associated with witchcraft in many parts of the country hence hyena men receive a lot of critics from people who believe they are possessed. But hyena men are normal everyday people who spend half of the year farming the land and dealing with scrap metal. But their favorite part of the year is spent touring towns, entertaining crowds and selling their herbal medicine.

It’s quiet a physical job to keep the crowd entertained and hence both the men and animals need to focus on attracting customers. Sometimes things don’t turn as expected and at this particular performance, Mustafa, hyena handler has hurt his hand and the show may have to stop because he is in great pain. But luckily they have their own healer and through his mysterious medicine Mustafa is well and back. Men, women and children are glued to hyena men, excited.

The medicine they sell cures malaria and stomach pains and therefore wherever they go people rush to buy it. After the show is over everyone is exhausted but they sit together and discuss ways of attracting more customers. They decided to get more snakes. They are thrilled to get four more snakes. But they don’t use the new snakes immediately because they have to give them some herbs in order to tame the poisonous reptiles so that they can be used in public.

 

Hyena Men of Nigeria was produced by Triosphere Films and CCTV Africa.

FACES OF AFRICA: HYENA MEN OF NIGERIA

AN INCREDIBLE DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE MEDICINE MEN OF NIGERIA

AND THE WILD ANIMALS THEY USE TO ENTERTAIN CROWDS

FILMS &

GRAPHICS

FrogFoot Films and Graphics Contribution:

● Offline Edit

1 x 30 minutes