The tribes of Africa would never stand strong, they said. The tribes of Africa are savages, no more than the beasts they claim to master. While the world was looking at the European Alliance and the Soviet Union, the Warlords united to reclaim their lands. It was not unheard of for the tribes of Africa to stand together when it suited the need of all the tribes. To stay united, that was the surprise Africa had for the world. And that surprise came in the form of a dark diamond, Hanifa.
“Her eyes shone like twin stars the night before the attack,” they said. Half of Africa is in love with her. Hanifa smiled at the serenades and the gifts. The men went to war for love, but she knew they won because she inspired something more in them. Among the beastmasters of the forgotten continent she was without peer. Her elephant Bin nuzzled his trunk in her neck. She fed him a papaya.
She gazed over the plain filled with the warriors of Africa. Beside her the war elephant grazed peacefully. At times like this it was hard to imagine that the gentle elephant would gore the enemy at her command. That was a mistake her adversaries often made. The white men thought her soft. But they mistook her care and love for animals with compassion. Her brothers respected her, because she respected the spirit of the animal. Her animals respected her, because she cared for the spirit of the animal. Her enemies would be mistaken not to respect her, because she would never hesitate to harness the spirit of the animal.
Her reverie was roughly interrupted by screaming. Looking to check where the noise came from, she saw that one of the baragumu had gotten out of control and was stampeding through the camp. Fortunately, it was close by and Hanifa hurried over to lend a hand, loading her tranquilizer gun as she sprinted to the camp. She took aim; there was only one spot on a baragumu’s thick hide that could be penetrated by the dart. Her aim was true, and the behemoth sunk to the ground, crushing tents and men in the process. That was the risk of these beasts, nothing could ensure complete control. She would sit with the baragumu to make sure he would be calm when he woke, and then lead him back to the herd.
During colonial times the baragumu became almost extinct. Hunted down, like the rhino and the elephant, for their ivory and thick, strong hides. Despite her years of experience, it still amazed Hanifa that this king of beasts, the largest land animal in the world, had enough respect for her to follow her commands.