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Man gored to death after bull fighting event

By Robert Amalemba | May 23rd 2016
The bull ‘Messi Junior’ which gored a man to death after a fighting contest in Kakamega County. [Photo: Robert Amalemba/Standard]

A bull-fighting contest in Kakamega County ended tragically after a man succumbed to injuries that he sustained after the event.

A bull named 'Messi Junior' attacked the man at the weekend as he escorted it home after it won a match in Mukhonje, Illesi.

The bull repeatedly gored 28-year-old Ignatius Khakali in the ribs and abdomen and by the time it was restrained by other enthusiasts who were also escorting it home after the victory with song and dance, it had fatally wounded him.

Illesi Sub-Chief Julius Makamu said Mr Khakali was pronounced dead minutes after arriving at the nearby Mukumu Mission Hospital in Khayega.

"He did not die on the spot. He was rushed to Mukumu where he died when receiving treatment," said Mr Makamu.

Bonventure Munanga, secretary of the Kakamega Bull Fighters Association, said the bull attacked Khakali because it was still raring for battle. "Messi Junior was from the battlefield and it seemed had not had enough of an encounter with the other bull which ran away early in the match. It was actually being returned home to rest against its wish and that's why it descended on the young man who apparently is the brother to the owner," said.

Mr Munanga, a teacher at Khayega DEB Primary, said that once a bull has been "prepared" to fight, it must exhaust all its energy.

"You will notice the bulls attacking trees, scratching walls, digging the ground with their horns and front legs as if searching for something, bellowing incessantly and even running after people or across open spaces with raised tails after a fight. All this is in an effort to ease the pent up energy," said Munanga who has been in the bull-fighting industry for over ten years.

Brian Minishi, a three-time survivor of bull attacks in 2012, 2013 and 2016 when he suffered a fractured right hand, argued that Messi Junior had been kept off battle for far too long.

"I have been closely following Messi Junior since he came into the young bulls' league over a year ago. He was daring and enjoyed the battles. The trouble was that he was kept at home for longer than expected. He should have graced the battlefield frequently due to its energy, zeal and determination," said Mr Minishi, an advocate in Kakamega, who owns a bull named Ocampo.

Messi Junior was named so after it showed great fighting potential at a tender age and after veteran bull 'Messi' was slaughtered after retirement.

According to Isukha/Idakho culture, Messi Junior must be killed for killing a man.

"Custom dictates that the bull be slaughtered. Men and children will slash the bull into pieces without following the due procedure of slaughtering and skinning. You descend on it while it is standing and walk away with the meat," said Munanga.

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