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Niger: When the rain falls, we wrestle

I am Alkassoum the National Grant Officer with Save the Children in Niger. Grant management allows us to properly manage the funding we receive from donors. It’s very important because if we keep donors happy they are more likely to find more projects to save more and more children.

Despite the difficult situation that Niger is currently facing, being able to do my job well helps us reach more children. If we have NGOs and Government support I hope things will be ok in Niger. I also hope the rainy season will be good.  This is every Niger citizens wish.

My country is a really wonderful country.  With a good rainy season you will discover it on every person’s face. Especially in villages, where the principal activity is farming.  If the harvest is good, villagers show their happiness through different sports. One of these that I want to share with you is wrestling.

What is wrestling? Wrestling is an event usually organized by villagers after the rainy season to show how the year has been.  Most of the time this happens after a very good rainy season. It’s a very popular sport in Niger. Due to their physical and mystical forces and their techniques wrestlers in Niger remain living legends.

Each region organises a championship where the regions meet to discover who is the hero.  Each region chooses it’s most popular wrestlers and a match takes place where wrestlers have to show their courage. The person who wins “TAKOBI” is the hero of the country.

Wrestling remains so important because it’s such a simple sport, accessible to the rich and poor. Despite other modern sports it remains rural, keeping its fun and cultural aspects.

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