Keeping the spirit of Serengeti alive

IN 1980s one of popular music bands in Tanzania released a song that starts by phrase which goes “being born in the city I have all the reason to be proud of myself because Dar es salaam boil up with all kinds of entertainments” that was the time when Taifa Stars or national football team qualified for African Cup of Nations which was held in Nigeria and the national’s football team or the Super Eagles won the cup after defeating 3-0 the Desert Foxes of Algeria.

That is history, but prestigiously this year Tanzania a country which is endowed with most attractive animal’s sanctuaries on Earth is hosting the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations tournaments which includes eight national teams from different parts of this great continent, the edition of 13th tournament is very unique among all sports tournaments organised in Africa because of the animal spirits behind the competition, with exception of Tanzania, miraculously the other seven national’s teams derived their nick names from animals including those thrive in Serengeti national park.

Uniquely the tournament is an amazing gift to the people of Tanzania whose the team which represents them is trading under the name one of most attractive animal sanctuaries in the world, history shows that from late 18th century portraits and names of cranes, elephants, eagles, lions, cheetahs and the notorious ratels have been used to symbolize beauty, power, speed, endurance, royalty and wisdom by politicians, scientists and business people.

On the other side physiologists say beauty is a characteristic of a person, animal, place, object, or idea that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure or satisfaction to different people, apart from being morphologically attractive in order to win a beauty pageant whether it is held in Rabat, Dakar, Conakry, Yaoundé, Lagos, Luanda or Kampala one need to have a good knowledge of current affairs.

Uganda a country is located on the northern west part of Tanzania, this good looking country in Africa has its national anthem song which sing about the beauty of their country as the junior teams comes into the tournament while following the motto of their country “For God and my country” the beauty of Uganda is well depicted in Queen Elizabeth national park the most visited animals sanctuary and where cranes are widely available.

Among cranes and other birds, breeding is one of main aspects which are affected by climatic and geographical changes because laying of eggs need enough energy and heat, to conquer that difficult situation and avoid going into a miserable extinction, the grandparents of crown cranes developed a unique ritualized beauty contest which encouraged breeding.

A beauty contest involve more than three stages including dancing which display energy and the true beauty of every contestant. From the main street of Kampala or Dar es salaam to the heart of Savannah in national park such as Serengeti, the art of dancing involve rhythmical movement of body or part of it, this is done in response beats or sound from a musical instrument or from a tone of songs which the dancers are singing or played by a music player, in the savannah animals do not play guitar but during breeding season a flock of more than 45 crown cranes may congregate in a selected area to form a special choir.

Crown cranes are known of producing graceful booming sound from their red gular sacs which are inflated with air to produce strong beat that bring every member into a dancing ground, as the beats get hot every crown crane embarks on a jumping and bowing rhythmical movements which produce enough beats to entertain every dancer in the ground and as if these are not enough, at the highest stage of their dance a honking sound is produced by male members to force some idle females to get into the dancing ground, these birds are good musicians as some crown cranes are known to produce a trumpet sound which invite juveniles to the dancing ground and lay foundation of knowledge for future generations.

Meanwhile history shows Nigeria has been home to a number of ancient and indigenous kingdoms and states over the millennia which enabled it to have the largest population and economy in Africa which goes along with “Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress” the motto of the nation meanwhile the country is proud to have Yankari National Park is a large wildlife park located in the south-central part of Bauchi State which is endowed with different animals including the eagle which carries the spirit of the national football team.

Eagles are found in more than 60 species of powerfully built birds of prey which are found in Australia, North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, all species of eagle are capable of producing different kinds of sounds and these calls are made as part of ritualized courtship display takes place, this is a special show whereby an animal attempts to attract a mate and exhibit their desire to copulate, these behaviours often include ritualized movements or dance, vocalizations, mechanical sound production, displays of beauty and strength.

This is a beautiful game because the displays consists of a series of steep dives and ascents, with few rhythmical wing flaps at the top of each climb and descending circles which draw number eight in the sky. During the display which is done to purify themselves for a courtship, during descents, eagles can drop as much as 60 metres at a time before circling back up and during this display, the male is noisy, uttering a shrill sound according to its specie while throwing its head back also singing in a thrilling sound for approximately 30 seconds.

Among eagles, in this kind of display a male partner may reach heights exceeding 900 metres, sometimes even near cloud level at over 2,000 metres above the ground but the adult female may also perform independent display flights, uttering a responding call as its seems to display less. These ritualized aerial displays may look unusual but from southern Africa, Angola is another beautiful country which is well known for its strong economy, with its motto “Virtue is stronger when united” the strength of the displayed by giant sable antelopes which are native and endemic to the region between the Cuango and Luando Rivers in Angola.

Uniquely the sable antelope is found in the savannah with long horns which measures up to 110 centimetres and strengthened by 20 to 40 rings which curve them backward with a deadly sharp end, it has stiff shining mane which stand straight from the neck to the middle part of their back of a black body which stand at 143 centimetres. Palahala is the Swahili name for this attractive antelope which their bodies are decorated with white colour on both sides of a goat like head.

Sable antelopes weigh about 270 kilogrammes which place them on the fourth position of largest antelopes of the African savannah, this is a feature which makes people in Luanda, Lobito, Huambo and Benguela to believe the antelope firmly stands for vivacity, velocity, beauty and visual sharpness. In Tanzania sable antelope thrives in the southern circuit which comprises Mikumi, Kitulo, Uduzungwa and Ruaha national parks together with game reserves such as Seleus, Msanjesi, Liparamba and Lukwikalumesule.

From Mikumi national park to Lukwikalumesule game reserve on the southern border with Mozambique lions thrives vibrantly and attracts tourists from all parts of the world, this is due to the fact these big cats physical attractiveness also provide the chance of being photogenic regardless of power, authority and other fearful features which are associated with their daily activities in vast savannah grassland of Serengeti.

With all these in minds, the national team of Morocco is nick named lions of Atlas, although it is believed that they are extinct in the wild but scientists say they are the largest among lions of Africa, leading solitary life these lions which are also known as Barbary were widely available in area between Egypt and Morocco where they thrived on the slopes of Atlas mountains.

In Morocco these are royal lions which represent the strength of the nation which is going to be showcased during these tournaments where the Senegal national team is going to feature under the spirit of lions from Teranga, unlike the Barbary, these are western Africa lions which genetically are more related to Asiatic lions because of being smaller than the Maasai lions of East Africa. In the wild lions are known for working together in hunting and taking care of their families, these are some of the reasons which made people of Cameroon to name their national after the lions, the Indomitable lions are coming to Tanzania the country where the largest population of lions thriving in the wild.

From the time in history when king Nebukadreza threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into fiery furnace and through time of Romans and British empires to resent time in Africa these big cats are used as symbol of strength, supremacy and leadership, with all its power a lion needs to be very careful when it comes face to face with an elephant the largest terrestrial animal.

The national team of Guinea is proudly nick named National elephants, from Conakry to Nzérékoré and Kankan almost everybody knows the importance of the National Park of Upper Niger and Badiar National Park where one of the rare herds of African forest elephants are thriving, like their brother and sisters in different parts of Africa, with conflicts in Central Republic of Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo the future of these forest dwellers looks very bad and needs special attention from people around the world.

The city of Dar es salaam is known all over the world as a safe place, under the motto of “Freedom and Unity” we welcome our brothers and together with other national teams from Nigeria, Uganda, Senegal, Morocco, Angola, Cameroon, the national team of Guinea is coming to Dar es Salaam as ambassadors for animals in the wild facing danger from poaching activities by humans. God Bless Africa!

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