Stars grapple with black magic
Unreported World C4, 7.30pm
THE heyday of UK wrestling came in the Seventies. Back then hundreds of elderly women would routinely pack town halls in the hope of landing a devastating blow on Mick McManus's leotard-clad rear.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, wrestlers are still superstars. In this vast and troubled country, the sport is a passion, allowing fans to forget the poverty, violence, and ongoing civil war for the duration of a bout.
As with the old World Of Sport, contests are televised and attract thousands of fans. Whether Dickie Davies is the host I'm not sure.
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In the capital Kinshasa, Unreported World uncovers allegations that many fighters are involved in gang violence and political intimidation, something even McManus stopped short of.
Like other countries where wrestling is popular, there's a tradition of fighters wearing masks and customised costumes, but Congo's version has incorporated a belief in black magic genuinely feared by many.
The programme visits a wrestling match in Kinshasa to watch Congo's champion wrestler, Nanga Steve, taking on Super Angaluma, famed for using black magic to defeat his opponents.
The street bout is held in a ring surrounded by hundreds of spectators, many of them young men. To the crowd's delight Super Angaluma uses black magic to try to defeat Nanga Steve, sacrificing a chicken to help him unlock supernatural powers.
Despite this, in a classic denouement, good triumphs over evil and Nanga Steve is victorious.
What would Kent Walton have made of that?