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Zimbabwe, nee Southern Rhodesia, has always been a hard place to live. Goodwell Nzou would know. The doctoral student at Wake Forest University hails from that country, and is well aware of the dangers the wilds of his native land present. At age 11, he lost his right leg to a snakebite . . .

When the recent kerfuffle over an American hunter killing a wild animal started boiling over, his initial reaction was quite different from that of the pampered, privileged folks in the West. He recounts the tale in an op-ed published Tuesday in the New York Times.

When I turned on the news and discovered that the messages were about a lion killed by an American dentist, the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.

My excitement was doused when I realized that the lion killer was being painted as the villain. I faced the starkest cultural contradiction I’d experienced during my five years studying in the United States.

Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from “The Lion King”?

In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror….

The American tendency to romanticize animals…and to jump onto a hashtag train has turned an ordinary situation — there were 800 lions legally killed over a decade by well-heeled foreigners who shelled out serious money to prove their prowess — into what seems to my Zimbabwean eyes an absurdist circus.

PETA is calling for the hunter to be hanged. Zimbabwean politicians are accusing the United States of staging Cecil’s killing as a “ploy” to make our country look bad. And Americans who can’t find Zimbabwe on a map are applauding the nation’s demand for the extradition of the dentist, unaware that a baby elephant was reportedly slaughtered for our president’s most recent birthday banquet.

We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.

The plight of Zimbabwe’s people goes beyond threats of mere animal attacks. Though the actors and their politics have changed over the years, the land has been ruled by a racist, authoritarian regime, willing to use deadly force to cling to power at least since the days of British imperialism.

In fact, when she speaks in public, writer Alexandra Fuller — who spent her childhood and adolescence in the country — makes a point of reading a list of political prisoners from Africa, to remind everyone of the plight and oppression of people who live in the continent that was once her home. Naturally, Zimbabwe is one of the many countries whose prisoners are featured on the list. To my knowledge, she hasn’t been in danger of running out of names.

But instead of trying to understand the reality of life on the ground in Zimbabwe, and instead of trying to change something that actually is hurting real people who protest against the oppressive Zimbabwean government, many Americans have been willing to mindlessly jump on a bandwagon, decrying trophy hunting because it conflicts with the Disney-esque vision of Africa, its people, and its wildlife that they prefer to believe.

The mob needs more targets for its three-minute hate. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Tuesday that a Pittsburgh-area physician who treats cancer patients is being accused of “killing a lion on what may have been an illegal hunt.” The Zimbabwean government apparently is accusing Dr. Jan Seski of participating in an “illegal hunt” in April 2015. The usual social justice warrior types, bravely willing to take the word of an oppressive government, have attacked Dr. Seski in various social media (leaving a load of false reviews of his oncology practice on Yelp, for instance.)

Can this story get any more asinine? Stay tuned….


DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.

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        • When illegal lion hunts involving non-Africans becomes a problem and when that problem becomes more important than the plight of oppressed human beings in the same country as the hunt, let us know.

        • Yes, we can see that.

          It is mildly amusing to see so-called 2A advocates defending poachers using the “think of the children” argument which they so often criticize anti-gunners for using.

        • The Relative Privation Fallacy doesn’t apply because nobody here sees hunting lions as a problem, let alone a problem to be manipulated to sound less of a problem than…whatever other problem you are comparing it to.

        • It’s not a “think of the children” argument. It is a forced government oppression argument which is entirely consistent with the values of 2A advocates.

    • Successfully using HTML to post a hyperlink: 10/10
      Successfully using words to make an argument: 0/1000

      Is that all you have?

    • I think the reason liberal/progressives are so upset by the alleged poaching of this lion is because they identify with the essential quality of a lion. They know that Cecil, If given the chance, would gladly feed on human babies, as liberal/progressives support the mass slaughter of the unborn.

      So the liberal/progressive outrage at Cecil’s death is just sympathy of the death of a fellow human predator.

      • This is why they are also so protective of the Muslims. The Muslim Jihadist has dedicated their lives and deaths to the destruction of Western civilization,. This is ultimately what deep down inside that most Liberal/ progressives also want.

        Liberal/progressives hate them selves, they hate their culture, they hate our civilization, and they want it destroyed.

        Liberal progressivism is a death cult and they support any ideology or Man eating lion that attacks us as a culture and as a human being.

      • I have met a lot of African guys including from Namibia and Nigeria. They are dumbfounded that American elitists from 9k miles away whose idea of the wild in Central Park want to tell THEM how to live.

  1. I haven’t’ been there in 30 years, but I’ve watched their country spiral down while the west applauded the great achievement of ‘democracy’, which in Zimbabwe’s case amounted to voting in a pro-communist dictator for life. Americans and western Europeans continue to remain largely ignorant of the tribal divides that exist among most African nations, divides that cross arbitrary national boundaries created by those same European nations that colonized the ‘Dark Continent’ two centuries ago, then left (or were kicked out) to do other good deeds elsewhere.

  2. Saw this on the blaze. Lol’d. Have any of you seen the picture of Cecil chillin’ out with Obi wan and Yoda? Lost my s***. Lol’d again.

  3. Ok, if I see any more crap about the damn lion I’m going to scream. It’s all just media smoke and mirrors to keep the spotlight off real issues.

    • I don’t know. If people are bellyaching about Cecil the lion instead of supporting MDA or the Bloombergs, I’ll take it. Our fight for 2A rights kind of demands we be practical about things.

      • I am Against Cruelty to Animals and this was senseless shooting any animal just for their trophy

        • While the money he spent goes to people far less privileged than you.

          Keep shitting on poor people more.

        • ” just for their trophy”

          What is truly SENSELESS is the number of people that actually believe that just because a hunter kept a trophy or was even motivated by getting the trophy that such a hunt was “just for the trophy.”

          Meat gets eaten; net conservation goals are met; etc. There are MANY reasons to hunt, and even so-called ‘trophy hunters’ are in it for more than the trophy itself.

          Breaking it down into a smaller bite….the trophy is a by-product of a MUCH larger picture. It’s not the sole goal or the sole benefit.

        • 1. Thrill of hunting in Africa
          2. Getting a Trophy for the effort and money.
          3. Culling an old animal for the health of the pride.
          4. Providing meat for nearby villagers.
          5. Providing income for continued Reserve and animal conservation.

          All of those are possible at the same time. Its an effective and proven management system. There is no Trophy-hunter vs. Gaia dichotomy. One enables the other.

  4. It appears that mr. Nzou is implying that people are more dangerous than lions….which, would have to agree. Perhaps we need a little Dr. Moreau action on the dark continent. More people….kill all lions

  5. “We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.”

    It turns out we care more about African animals than our own babies, so don’t feel too bad.

  6. I have a good deal of faith in the average American, but sometimes we can be really dumb.

    Or maybe the Internet makes every asshole ten times louder.

    The horror the horror in the heart of darkness

    • It has always been that people will happily jump in with good intentions whole heartedly but fail to understand the consequences, intended or not. This has long been a problem with our own policies in this country, especially when dealing with other nations. Hell it is one of the problems we as 2A supporters have to fight against.

      I also feel the need to point out that in the Heart of Darkness, the lion wasn’t the real monster, the man was. That is a book though and while I do not agree with poaching, if it indeed happened, I am not against legal hunts and I certainly think that there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to horrible things done in Africa.

  7. It is true, a good many American’s are self-righteous and speak with authority about which they do not know. We must learn in our hysteria driven internet world to discount 90% of what we hear for about a week or so.

  8. “Can this story get any more asinine?”

    I find your lack of faith in the American media establishment … disturbing.

  9. It’s magic, you know. Put a name on a dangerous apex predator, and suddenly he is a beloved harmless kitten.

    • There’s actually a kind of magic happening. “What if that giraffe was a marlin,” etc. I’ve got a proposition for a big game hunt I can’t afford: I’d like to kill a descendant of Pablo Escobar’s hippos. I can’t think of anyone other than a knee-jerk anti-hunter that could oppose that.

      • I heard a story about them on the radio. I guess they are rampaging around, terrifying the natives and wreaking havoc

    • Remember that orca at Seaworld, which finally lost it’s shit after years of captivity and took out a trainer? People were dumbfounded that a highly intelligent apex predator which was so beloved, would ever do such a thing. I remember even reading some bleeding-heart SJW types laying blame upon the trainer for somehow provoking such a majestic & peaceful animal, and bringing her fate down upon herself. Meanwhile PETA was celebrating her death, trumpeting it as an exemplar of human-cruelty towards captive cetaceans. Yet now those same people are crying about Cecil, as if the big cat was completely uncapable of such an act in the wild, simply because it had a name & reminded them of their beloved Fluffy the Housecat.

  10. It’s not just this black African who is mystified. I was told before Barry Soetoro was erected that George W Bush saving (perhaps) millions of black lives “didn’t count”(AIDS) because they were “African” and NOT African-American-this from a black man…(no it wasn’t kanye west but = stupid/evil). I didn’t “get it”…Sorry I have NO hope that a country who twice immaculated barry soetoro gives a damn about the real problems of sub-saharan Africa.

  11. “We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.”

    The Americans in question, Progressives, only care about one thing; themselves. And, for them, the only thing that matters, is climbing the pecking order of Political Correctness. Hence feign ever more absurdist outrage over something they neither know, nor care, about. All in an effort to appear as if they, special little snowflakes, are even MORE outraged and concerned about this lion that they would immediately cry for some tax feeder in state employ unceremoniously kill, were he to get even remotely within striking distance of themselves.

    Progressives may well be the majority of “Americans” by now. 150 years of publicly funded, pervasive indoctrination has a way of doing that to a once decent people. But they are in no way representative of anything “Americans” in the abstract can be said to stand for, if you just extend your observations a bit beyond the narrow confines of our current Dystopia.

  12. Gibbons’ concept of “…a cloud of critics, compilers and commentators…” has come to full fruition.

  13. “hashtag bandwagon”–don’t know why I haven’t thought of that myself, but I’m stealing it. BTW, RF, just FYI, the SJW types that are getting the vapors over cecil aren’t about to protest the oppressive Zimbabwran government. To them, the overlords of Zim are themselves mighty SJWs for throwing out a white regime. The fact that they have consequently brought economic devastation and political oppression, up to and including murder, to black and white alike in Zim doesn’t fit the Cecil-worshipper’s narrative, so it just doesn’t register with them.

  14. Unfortunately, as stupid as progs are, we are proving to have some folks just as stupid on our side who also apparently see this in entirely black/white terms. So it’s either:

    -Kill all the lions, and who cares whether it’s legal, to save all the African children from being eaten (and who gives a crap if the kids have clean water to drink and food to eat, which they don’t), which is apparently the 2A position now, OR

    -Save all the lions, and forget about the children in Africa entirely, the prog take.

    How ’bout this instead?

    -All lions aren’t maneaters. Kill those who are, and give the meat to the needy. Keep trophy hunting legal because of the economic and other benefits, but prosecute the heck out of poachers and those who do so illegally.

    -At the same time, and not in any way in contradiction of the above, don’t raise the killing of a lion illegally, while horrible IF the facts are as alleged, to in any way equal either the plight of children in Africa (for umpteen reasons, with death by lion not in the top half–try poor health care, the aforesaid lack of clean water and food, and a government that has never been able to govern economically at all, and rules by violence and force) or come close to the issue of millions of babies aborted by Planned Baby Parts for Sale.

    And FWIW, I have a close relative who’s spent at least 6 months out of the year for about 15 years as a medical missionary in Zimbabwe, and the rest of the time, when she’s here, she teaches a college class on medical missionary work in 3rd world countries and raises money for her next trip. So no; I’m not from there; but I know a little about the situation on the ground from someone who’s now giving literally half her life to help the children there.

  15. I hope that Mr. Nzou realizes that what the American press reports does not reflect how the American people feel. With social media the press slants the message to appease the followers who validate their agenda. The agenda is to change hearts and minds rather than report the news. The news was a lion was killed. The agenda is to restrict hunting activities and punish the hunters.. As the good Mr. Nzou states lions can be hazardous to ones health. Additionally they readily breed in captivity. Put these two facts together and charging $55,000 to kill a lion starts making sense. But the press has to create the illusion that they seek out and expose the evil and greedy in this world and partner with those in political power who are aligned with this “forward looking, progressive vision”. Hence their dilemma with Hillary Clinton who appears to have slipped deeply into the greedy end of the scale. But back to the press..They can succeed by merely creating the illusion that they represent the opinions of all Americans and this illusion is created by referencing polls and social media activity.
    Most Americans, like most people from Zimbabwe, want to provide for the welfare and safety of their families. Most Americans can’t get the message out as an individual (maybe this is why Trump is popular). So please get out and talk to the American people. Not at conferences, seminars, symposiums, town hall meetings and political gatherings but talk to us as individuals as we work and play.

  16. Having read the comments on the NY Times about this article, it appears to be one of those rare articles that actually causes some people to stop and reevaluate their views. In this case, it was because the knee-jerk pro-lion/anti-hunting views of a typical leftist ran smack into the views of an actual African, people whom leftists like to believe they are defending and protecting. You could almost smell the smoke coming out of people’s ears when reading the comments.

    • “We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.”

      What you’re witnessing is another classic logic bomb imbedded in the progressive source code.

  17. The Internet as a news source brings about the problem of people being able to see every event on the planet, but through a soda straw.
    Most people can’t wrap their minds around that.

  18. Yep. The fact that when it was run by a western nation, the country was a net food exporter with a percapita income that was the envy of the rest of Africa.

    Once the country was taken over by the local dictator, in time, he started driving out the white farmers with there modern farming methods and giving the farm land to the locals, and the results as followed. Like Chicago, all the productive people ended up moving and what was left was a wasteland that was once a productive food exporting country with inflation in the thousands of percent, civil unrest, death squads, starvation and bodies in the streets.

  19. Africa has been confounding liberals for a century. I can think of nothing more hazardous to the entire liberal orthodoxy than an industrial strength dose of Africa. Her realities – political, social and natural – expose the gaping faults in the left’s entire catalog; extreme emphasis on reflexive sentimentalism, paternal racist elitism and moralizing arrogance, as well as the fallacies of mythical naturalism.

    A wise old former Rhodesian once said that anything in Africa that does not have value goes away; it is understood that anything of worth there is protected with a gun. As long as Africa is a place where the “hills are high and the emperor is far away” (i.e. governments struggle to project authority), any animal of marginal value that is not protected will be harvested. If its not worth harvesting, it will be cleared out to make way for something that is worth harvesting. Either way, it’s gone.

    If you prohibit lion hunting in Africa, they will quickly disappear from the “wilds.” Landowners who currently lease out their properties as hunting concessions will turn the land over to the next most productive use, hunting other game animals and farming, in that order. Lions and other game animals do not mix. Farming and lions do not mix. Without hunting revenues, and under pressure from voters, governments will eventually find reasons to spend less money on protecting lions from poachers (most people do not realize how resource intensive anti-poaching operations are). I am sorry but the fantasy about photo safaris replacing revenues from hunting is laughable; show me the photographer who is willing to $50,000 for a photo of a lion.

    There is only one reason that 30,000 of these animals exist all across Africa today and that is because every year rich white people are willing to spend tens of millions, in aggregate, to shoot them in their fury faces. Whether you like that or not, no other group on earth is willing to consistently spend that type of money to protect a population of this size because no one else values it as highly as hunters do. Look at the annual budget of the Sierra Club and other “conservation” groups, they don’t even come close to having the resources to protect lions from poachers let alone enough to buy or rent the land to keep it from being cleared for farms if hunting money went away. Even if they could maintain through donations a fraction of a fraction of the current population, would it really be sustainable and wise, in the long run, to turn Africa into some type of Western funded zoo? In a world without unlimited resources trade offs are necessary, how many American children are you willing to let go hungry so that the 30,000 lions can be protected? In the long run, there is no alternative.

    Facts can be unpleasant. Facts can often be counter-intuitive (as gun owners are well aware). I am aware of the irony that the same hunters that decimated populations of lions, rhinos and elephants in the 19th and 20th centuries are now succeeding in restoring them. I have no desire to shoot a lion and probably never will. I have an aversion to shooting non-pest animals except for meat (lions can often be pest animals). But that’s my preference, that’s on me. In order to survive, an individual human only really NEEDS oxygen, food, water, and shelter (there is some debate about whether humans require social contact to live); that’s it. I can survive without owning guns just like a liberal can survive without expressing their silly political opinions, daily mocha lattes, and their pampered pajama boy children. So while you definitely don’t need to shoot a lion, if that is what you want, I got your back.

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