A Senegalese wrestler trains to become the ‘king of the arena’

Almost half of Senegal's population lives below the poverty line, but young men like Domou Walo are fighting for a better life. In the country’s capital of Dakar, Walo trains for La lutte or Laamb, Senegal's traditional form of wrestling. The sport has been practiced since the 14th century and includes elements of mysticism. Top contenders regularly compete for prestige and six figure prizes. Filmmaker Tom Sweetland captures the athleticism, ritual, violence, and brotherhood that underpins the sport, where the young challengers train to improve their family’s lot in a country where many survive on an average income of only $10 a day.

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The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.

A Senegalese wrestler trains to become the ‘king of the arena’

Almost half of Senegal's population lives below the poverty line, but young men like Domou Walo are fighting for a better life. In the country’s capital of Dakar, Walo trains for La lutte or Laamb, Senegal's traditional form of wrestling. The sport has been practiced since the 14th century and includes elements of mysticism. Top contenders regularly compete for prestige and six figure prizes. Filmmaker Tom Sweetland captures the athleticism, ritual, violence, and brotherhood that underpins the sport, where the young challengers train to improve their family’s lot in a country where many survive on an average income of only $10 a day.

See more from Clouded Vision.

The Short Film Showcase spotlights exceptional short videos created by filmmakers from around the world and selected by National Geographic editors. We look for work that affirms National Geographic's belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world. The filmmakers created the content presented, and the opinions expressed are their own, not those of National Geographic Partners.