Argungu Fishing Festival – Kebbi, Nigeria
MID MARCH (DEPENDING ON WATER LEVELS)
WE’RE A BIT SCEPTICAL AS TO HOW EXCITING FISHING CAN BE.
Well, let these West African fishermen show you a thing or two. WHERE ARE THE RODS? Exactly. This is where it gets interesting. The festival centres around a competition where approximately 35,000 fishermen wade into the water with hand nets and try to outdo each other by grabbing the biggest fish they can see. Fishermen can work in pairs, but they must catch their fish by hand. There was once a winner who dragged an 80-kilo catfish ashore. Not as boring as you first thought, right?
NO, THIS IS NOT WHAT WE EXPECTED.
The whole thing started over 80 years ago as a peace-making exercise between the Argungu people and their neighbours from Sokoto. It has grown to be one of the most popular festivals in West Africa, drawing in massive numbers for the fun and the spectacle. Oh, and it might also have something to do with the prizes. The lucky winner takes home around US$8000 and a new minibus. Not bad for a day’s work.