First things first, there isn’t any goat used for rituals by the British royal family as claimed by some Nigerians who are sympathetic to the already dead paganistic practices that were prevalent in the precolonial times. They claim that Britain came to Africa and destroyed our tradition which included cruel treatment and killing of Animals to appease the gods and ancestors, but they claim that Britain uses goats for sacrifices upon the accession of a monarch. This was a result of a picture circulating online where a white goat was seen marching through Cardiff for the proclamation of the King of Britain.
As I have said before, Africa is the home of so much misinformation, propaganda, conspiracy theories, and so on. When you think you’ve heard it all, one person somewhere would cook up something interesting and release it to the public. This is done especially against someone or people that are disliked.
What about this goat?
This was going to be the first time the globe would be witnessing how the British Monarchs are proclaimed and installed and this is because this is the first time in the emergence of advanced technology, social media, and satellite TV that a British Monarch is installed after the demise of the longest serving British Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. A white goat was spotted in the proceedings and this goat has a name, Shenkin.
While many Africans are looking at a goat that would pass for nice meat to complement the new yam festival, the goat is not for meat nor does it have any spiritual significance. In Welsh tradition, a goat is a traditional mascot for Royalty and each mascot has a name, regimental number, and ranking that can be promoted or demoted just like every soldier. Shenkin, the one that got mouths talking is a lance corporal and even earns a salary that goes for its upkeep.
Should this goat misbehave during a parade, it can be demoted as a punishment for misbehaving. This is a tradition that began around 1775 during the war which led to the independence of the United States of America. The first goat was adopted by the Royal Welsh at Bunker hill after it has strayed onto the battlefield.
There is another story of a goat making noise to warn a soldier who was suffering hypothermia about the activity of Russian troops during the Crimean war. Since then, goats have remained adopted as mascots after they are captured and are subjected to several trainings into becoming whatever these goats stand for.
What is a mascot?
It means a person, animal, or object used as a symbol to represent a group (such as a sports team) and to bring good luck. In football around the world, Children have always been used as mascots which came to be when UNICEF collaborated with FIFA. This is quite a contrast from animal sacrifices being championed by those who are sympathetic to traditional religions in Africa. After all, can we say that Children who are used as mascots in football are being used as human sacrifices?