WTF Friday, 7/5/13

This zebra is not in Nigeria.

This week’s WTF Friday comes courtesy of young Abubakar Souleiman, a 15 year old Nigerian immigrant living in Boston with a creative sense of humor.

Apparently, Souleiman decided to have some fun with Yvonne Abraham, the Boston Globe columnist who interviewed him about his achievements in U.S. schools. He told her that his track and field skills were the result of a youth spent “hunting zebras with spears and trying to avoid antagonizing cheetahs.”

Abraham took his story at face value. Why, of course Souleiman would have spent his childhood dodging cheetahs and chucking spears at herds of zebra, because Africa.

Except, as blogger Bob Blewett points out:

“There are no zebra in the wild in Nigeria. (There are zebra on Nigerian postage stamps but that is about selling stamps to collectors, not zebra habitat.) While it is possible for a cheetah to exist in the savannas of northern Nigeria, this is extremely rare. Humans would frighten, not antagonize, any wild cheetah there. Besides, hunting is about accuracy; javelin is about distance”

Yesterday, Abraham issued a correction.

(Photo of zebra by Muhammad Mahdi Karim, made available under a GNU Free Documentation License.)

Amanda Taub


  1. So funny! I love that a 15-year-old is already so cynical, by which I mean that I hate it that American ignorance about Africa is so overwhelming. Sigh.

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