PHOTOS: Senegalese Best Sheep Contest

Dogo Ndiaye strokes ram

If you are bang into African sheep and/ or you’re an X-Factor groupie, read on….

Senegal is a country in West Africa, there’s about 13 million people living there and it turns out they all absolutely love sheep. More than anything else in the world. The sheep live in their homes and are treated like family members.

The most popular show there is called “Khar Bii” or “The Sheep”,  if you can’t speak the local Wolof language. It’s a kind of Crufts meets X-Factor but with sheep instead of dogs and farmers instead of morons. You’d probably have a better conversation with one of the sheep than with Cowell too which gives it an extra edge.

The prize money is the equivalent of about £2,500 which is a pretty big deal in a country where the average income is about 50 quid a month and only about half of the population even own a phone. How do they tweet? #nicesheep

Senegal Sheep Judges Table

These lovable quadrupedal, ruminant mammals are the pets of choice in Senegal. So I guess this is no weirder than dog shows in the west. I mean, a sheep is much more useful than a dog anyway. It’s not like dog owners use them to hunt wild boar in Sussex nowadays is it? You can milk a sheep, and you can make some pretty electric cheese from it too. And at the end of their lives you get a fridge full of minted lamb burgers. A sheep is the gift that keeps on giving. Have you ever tried to milk a cat or a dog? Well, I have and it’s a total nightmare. Tiny teets you see.

Competitor Boy Serere waits in his stall

A 27-year-old contender – Abou Aziz Mare – was quoted as saying “Some people love cats, some people love dogs. Here we have sheep…….. I live with him like a close friend”.

Senegal Sheep Crowd

The show has well over 9,000 Facebook “likes”. If you want to be added to the flock, I managed to find the page so you can “like” it too if you really do like it. At the event they have a bit of a knees up it seems. There’s food and even a bit of dancing in ethnic clothes. Now you don’t get that at Crufts do you? Not even morris dancers. Miserable gits.

A traditional dancer dressed as a ram performs
It’s a yearly event and this year’s final is on Saturday, so watch with bated breath to find out who is the fairest sheep in all of Senegal. I hope it’s this guy, he seems nice:

Djibi Seck leads ram Abdoulaye into the ring

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