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Isolo: the zebus and goats' corner

moving in on wheels
moving in on wheels

Isolo is an area of Lagos situated on the mainland near the airport. It has a huge market on Tuesdays and hosts also a lot of craftsmen. Next to an unappealing waterway, some sort of natural canal turned sewer, there is a memorial for victims of a bomb blast that took place a few years back and which caused a few tenth of fleeing residents attempting to cross the water to drown in it.
deadly waters
deadly waters
Adjoining the water is a hill covered by shacks. One corner is occupied by meat producers. They breed zebus and goats and produce meat. From a distance one could see the easily recognizable shape of the long-horned zebus against the sky as well as minarets of a nearby mosque.

a hill with horns and minarets
a hill with horns and minarets
The hill is muddy, no pavement, just earth mixed with garbage. In places, the ground drops abruptly and reveals layers of trash accumulated over the years. One wonders if a modern breed of plastic archeologists would not be fascinated by the finds they could do there.
After obtaining a hard-won introduction from one of the local residents which necessitated a good deal of shouting in Yoruba before finally agreeing on the fee for protection, we set about to visit the cattle area.
We had actually come to visit a scrap yard which had moved just a few days before, so once there we opted for the cattle instead.

a horny zebu
a horny zebu
Some residents were busy on the "main square" to cut into pieces a freshly slaughtered zebu. The fur had been removed from the body. The butchers could begin their work. Nearby a hall of butchers were preparing suyas - strips of meat - and intestine sausages.
the meat hall
the meat hall
Then, we came across stables of goats. Some fighting goats (rams) are kept there for entertainment but also because their value (one good fighting ram goes for half a million Naira - more than 2000 euros).
smell ignition
smell ignition
A fight was organized spontaneously for a fee. The rams were brought, hold by the horns, and rubbed one against the other until one of the two jumped ready to fight the other one. It moved back a distance to be able to charge the other one. A loud knock marked the collision between the two heads. The largest ram wanted to charge anew while the second one had made his mind he would not fight again as the other one was stronger.
head on
head on


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