My Lord, as I am writing this piece I am laughing like a hyena why the whole world could be living on borrowed animal names in perpetuating traditions that benefit a few misguided individuals.
Probably you have heard that somewhere in Africa a President of a country ordered the arrest of a ‘hyena’ and as a leader of an animal rights group, this story attracted our interest because we felt that animal rights were being violated.
Since hyenas could not be in a position to protect themselves, we thought we could come in and fight for their rights, not knowing that the hyenas being referred to in numerous newspaper articles and documentaries before us are human beings after all and that is exactly our problem, My Lord.
My Lord, we at the animal rights commission want to set the record straight on behalf of the real hyenas that roam the country’s grasslands.
We want to ask The Tribunal to stop the abuse of the name of hyena to refer to people who are hired to sire babies on behalf of impotent husbands or more recently to refer to people that deflower girls at their rite of passage. My Lord, we understand that even some reformed deflowerers who are wearing the garb of change agents are also being referred to as hyenas
My Lord, on behalf of the real hyenas of the animal kingdom, we feel it is an injustice of the highest order to be giving these people animal names. Why can’t they give them names that depict what they do? If they are village or community sanctioned defilers or rapists, why not call them such?
Already hyenas belong to endangered species and the misnomer that has been adapted by people will endanger more the remaining animals as people, especially those irked by this culture, are likely going to vent their anger on innocent hyenas.
My Lord, this tradition is creating a wrong impression that hyenas are a libidinous lot that can hop on any unsuspecting female. This is the more reason we want to ask you honourable Judge Mbadwa to stop people from abusing this name.
These animals are true matriarchal animals as their kingdoms are ruled by the females. Why are the people who are involved in female subjugation, misapplying the name of hyena to satisfy their lusts?
My Lord, there is a Chichewa proverb that says Fisi anakana nsatsi and these people should stop giving these noble animals a bad name.
Lastly, My Lord, the whole country cannot be at standstill because some ill-mannered people wrapped their bizarre sex escapades on teenagers in a name that belong to the animal kingdom. There are several issues that need urgent attention such as the dwindling economy or more relevant to our organisation, the transfer of animals such as Elephants from Liwonde National Park to Nkhotakota Game Reserve.
We sincerely hope that hyenas will get the justice they deserve when people stop abusing their name to apply to traditions that have nothing to do with the real hyenas.
On behalf of hyenas prowling Nyasaland,
Chairperson Animal Rights Commission. n