Aidan Hartley

Cargo cult

A great white hunter takes aim at a few sacred cows in contemporary Africa

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I watched tribal warriors invade private farms on Kenya’s Laikipia plateau this week, driving vast herds of cattle before them. The phalanxes of il moran looked magnificent in their ochre and beads, and my spine tingled at the sight of their spears flashing in the sun. When Nairobi’s government quite reasonably moved to evict them, saying this was not a ‘Zimbabwe-like situation’, they lit bushfires and left a trail of wanton vandalism. Wielding tomahawks, knives and knobkerries, they clashed with security forces, and in the m