CONGO VOODOO CATCH

 

‘The Tank’, ‘Cardinal LeFils’ and ‘Six-colours’, ‘the ungry dog’, ‘Saida Robot’ and ‘Cap-Tride’ are warmed up, painted and under the effect of their Gri-gri, that means they are ready to fight. Only in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, there are more then 800 catchers, but only 100 are well known as they used to make their tournaments on TV, especially during the Mobutu dictatorship. In the DR Congo, the success and knowledge of Wrestling discipline is as popular as in the USA, there are just few differences both economical and cultural. First of all the Congolese wrestlers cannot earn their living out of it, the catch in Congo is just a popular show that gives only few minutes success to these poor athlets who work in their daily life as mechanics or chaffeurs. Another main difference is the choice of the personages fighting on the ring; the Congolese like to introduce a mystical, magical voodoo element to the pantomime using fetishes: ‘gri-gri’ amulets, magic powders and spells.

Kinshasa is a huge metropolis with more then 15 millions inhabitants, two third of which are unemployed and miserable. War, poverty and illness are the principle preoccupations of Congolese people. They don’t live, they survive.
The catch gives them a couple of hours of distraction from their daily problems.